All posts by Cameron Hicks

New weekly research highlight

This weekly blog post will highlight articles published during the week regarding fall prevention. This week we take a look at a standardised approach to older people presenting to the emergency department after a fall and preventing falls among behavioral health patients.

Abstracts for these studies can be found here

Efficiency gains from a standardised approach to older people presenting to the emergency department after a fall
Arendts G, Leyte N, Dumas S, Ahamed S, Khokulan V, Wahbi O, Lomman A, Hughes D, Clayden V, Mandal B. Aust. Health Rev. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.
DOI 10.1071/AH19187 PMID 32600521In Australia 1.2 million days per annum or 12% of all hospital patient days are used due to falls in adults aged 65 and over. Unless injuries are readily apparent an older person will also generally be given a low priority in the emergency department (ED). Discharged patients tend to have high recurrent fall and ED re-presentation rates. One particular area of concen is the identification of potentially modifiable fall risk factors such as drug interactions and postural hypotension. Arendts et al. aimed to develop a standardised approach for the assessment and management of older fallers in the ED. This approach included the early identification of fallers and involvement of multidisciplinary allied health, standardised assessment of cognition, medications, discharge risk assessment and mobility and balance assessment as well as education for ED and hospital ward staff and volunteers.

Preventing Falls Among Behavioural Health Patients
Ocker SA, Barton SA, Bollinger N, Leaver CA, Harne-Britner S, Heuston MM. Am. J. Nurs. 2020; 120(7): 61-68.
DOI 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000688256.96880.a3 PMID 32590604

In behavioural health hospital settings, fall and fall related injury rates are higher than other medical/surgical units. Many patients are at high risk for falls because they take pyschotropic medications, experience agitation and have limited ability to follow instructions. This quality improvement project aimed to reduce the rate of fall related injuries through a redisign of their fall prevention program for adult behavioural health inpatients. This led to fall-related injuries decreasing from 5.43 to 0 per 1000 patient days for six months after implementaion. (Ocker, et al. 2020)

Online Exercise Classes and Videos

With many community exercise classes on hiatus due to COVID-19 we have put together a list of organisations that have produced instructional exercise videos or that are running classes via an online platform such as zoom.

  • Home | Safe Exercise at Home
    The Safe Exercise at Home website has been developed by physiotherapists from around Australia with clinical and academic expertise in exercise and other forms of physical activity for older people and people with mobility limitations. The physiotherapists involved in the development of this website are listed here: About Us
  • SHARE – youtube channel
    – Free online exercise classes: Tai Chi, ‘Strong and Active’, ‘Active and Fit’
    SHARE is a Not For Profit but for purpose and is an award winning and well-known brand with a proven record of providing exercise classes to people over 50 in the community since 1985. SHARE delivers caring, targeted, affordable, flexible and relevant classes /programs in non-threatening settings.
  • Get up Guide – Videos and a weekly online exercise class
    The Get Up Guide is a training program designed for carers to assist them to support residents through the Covid-19 pandemic. Through simple daily exercise routines, we hope to combat some of the negative physical, social and psychological effects of isolation and inactivity.
  • Falls Network Home Exercise Video
    This short video runs through a home based exercise program that can be completed by older adults. It includes instructions on correct technique in order to perform the exercises safely.
  • COTA – youtube channel
    The Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW) is the peak organisation for people over 50 in our state. We’re an independent, consumer-based non-government organisation. We work with politicians, policy makers, and service providers as well as media representatives to make sure your views are heard and your needs are met.
  • Learn to Dance with the Australian Ballet Company

Other Exercise Resources

The Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) has created this website to provide information and tools that can assist you to prevent falls. You can also read more on its StandingTall program, which uses technology to deliver an evidence-based balance program.

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) has developed a series of simple exercises to help older Australian’s maintain their balance and avoid falls in the comfort of their own home.