Falls prevention

    Churches of Christ Care Lady Small Haven Aged Care Service at Benowa has taken action to make falls prevention a top priority.

    As part of the service's falls prevention program, physiotherapist Delma Glindemann, developed a group exercise program for their residents.

     “Although the exercises were selected based on evidence from scientific research, we were interested to find out whether this group program, in its entirety, does indeed reduce the fall risk of our residents,” Carmela Lagasca, Churches of Christ in Queensland Research Facilitator, said.

    “We therefore contacted the University of Queensland’s School of Human Movement Studies to assist us with evaluating the program.

    “While there is strong evidence that falls can be prevented, evidence for the effectiveness of exercise programs to prevent falls in residents at residential aged care services is lacking.”

    With an average 1.5 falls per bed per year, falls are a frequently occurring problem in residential aged care services.

    Falls can lead to injuries, fear of falling again, reduced mobility and increased dependence on family or carers in daily activities.

    As such, Dr Geeske Peeters, research fellow at the University of Queensland’s School of Human Movement Studies, was excited to be involved in the study.

    “What seems to be effective in a research setting is not always feasible in day-to-day aged care,” Geeske said.

    “I was excited to be approached by Churches of Christ to evaluate whether their program, which clearly is enjoyed by many of their residents, is actually doing what it is aimed to do: reduce falls.”

    During 2012, 26 residents from Lady Small Haven participated in the twice weekly exercise program.

    The results showed that 42 per cent residents in the exercise group compared to 81 per cent of residents in the control group fell at least once and were classified as ‘fallers’.  

    Thus, the risk of being a faller in the exercise group was almost half of that in the control group, and this effect was statistically significant.

    “These results look very promising,” Geeske said.

    Posted March 31, 2015 in Lifestyle blog