NSW Falls Prevention Network e-news
 e-Newsletter 3 2020
Keeping Well at Home Booklet
Manchester University have kindly shared their Keeping Well at Home booklet with us to adapt for NSW. This booklet contains ideas and suggestions to support older people during COVID-19 and help them to remain active and well.

It includes a list of exercises that can be performed at home, tips on how to manage mental health and a number of links to useful services and information. The booklet will continue to be updated as restrictions in NSW change and can be accessed here
NSW Falls Prevention Network Annual Forum
Our annual forum was held as a webinar this year with a record 735 people tuning in. Presentations by our guest speakers were very well received and have now been uploaded onto our website. The presentations, slides and Q&A can be accessed here.
Program Highlight

A Successful Falls Prevention Initiative by the Milton Park Ward falls champion at Bowral Hospital
I began a falls prevention research project after completing the Advanced falls champion workshop in early 2019. I found that on the ward I work on, falls were occurring regularly, and statistics often trended upwards with no real interventions implemented. I looked into why falls were occurring, perhaps it was the fact staff felt overwhelmed with a heavy workload and felt they had no time to address falls risk scores and attend to regular rounding. After conducting audits and surveys it appeared staff had limited insight into safe mobilization of patients, and what safe interventions could be applied into their daily routine to ensure safe mobilization for patients and staff. An example of this is the implementation of the policy in 2018 that any high risk falls patients could not be left unsupervised in bathrooms.
I produced a "Traffic Light" system that is a colored card system to indicate the patients level of mobility assessed by the physiotherapist. These cards are then displayed on the patients walking aides, and at the end of bed, to quickly indicate to ALL STAFF what level of assistance is required for the patient to walk safely. Often we see patients walking up the hallway unassisted and think to ourselves "He looks wobbly", by using these cards ANY staff member can quickly approach and assist the patient if their coloured card indicates they need assistance, such as RED = ASSISTANCE, ORANGE = STANDBY SUPERVISION, therefore hoping to reduce the likelihood of a fall occurring. The coloured card system highlights to any staff members near by that a patient needs supervision or assistance and staff can accompany the patient without having to physically go to the bed side to look at their care board. The aim of the trial was achieved (to reduce falls) and now successful implementation of this project after its trial period is now shown in the wards improved statistics of decreased falls over the past few  months. Patients are being escorted to the bathroom safely, and staff understand the importance of staying with their patient in the bathroom at all times, as statistics indicate most falls occur in the bathroom. The project is implemented with physiotherapist consultation and has now improved communication between allied health and nursing, to ensure correct mobility is adhered to. Physiotherapy also participate in labelling and applying the coloured cards to mobility aides, although I have encouraged nursing staff to predominately attend to this as part of their regular rounding. The traffic light coded system is used in conjunction with Proximate bed alarms and further falls prevention techniques such as; Regular rounding, low low beds, high supervision rooms, scheduled toileting regimes, no use of bed rails, e.t.c

Abstracts from the research literature
Fall Prevention Research in NSW

With the restrictions placed on group gatherings in NSW due to COVID-19 many exercise classes have been forced to stop, leading many people to be without access to physical activity and their support groups. A number of research studies in NSW are now offering online exercise programs and we can support these by either participating in or sharing these projects through our networks and colleagues. 

Standing Tall Plus

StandingTall Plus is a clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of a home-based fall prevention program, delivered through an iPad, when compared to general education. The program offers an individualised approach incorporating Balance exercises (to improve balance & mobility), Brain-training (if required, to help quick thinking), and a Cognitive Behavioural approach (if required, to address low mood or concerns about falls). If required, an iPad can be provided for the duration of the study (12 months).

Who can participate
Those 65 years or older, independently living in the Sydney metropolitan area (NB: some areas of Sydney are not currently included).
Particpants require one or more of the following:
- Fallen in the last 6 months
- Somewhat concerned about falling/balance
- 80+ years
- No progressive neurological condition (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer's disease)
- Are comfortable to accept a video call, and/or have a support person who can assist with this
- Are comfortable to perform a balance assessment under remote supervision and/or have a support person who can be present during this assessment

For more information, please contact the team on 9399 1888 or

Successful AGEing (SAGE) Yoga Trial

This program aims to measure the effect of yoga on falls and other measures of health and wellbeing. If you decide to take part in this research, you will be randomly allocated to one of the yoga programs, both of which are taught online via the freely available Zoom app. Participation is for 12 months and is free.

To be eligible you need to be aged 60 years or older; living independently in the community; not currently participating in yoga; healthy enough to be physically active.

For more information, please email 

ComeBACK Trial

ComeBACK is a research trial investigating the impact of two intervention programs on the physical activity levels of adults with self-reported walking difficulties. ​ComeBACK participants will receive support to be more active. This will involve access to a website and printed booklet and may also involve phone coaching or text messages.

The ComeBACK trial aims to recruit 600 people from a number of hospital and community sites across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland by 2021.​We are looking for people aged 18 years or older who have walking difficulties and are living in the community. 

For more information or to participate in this study phone (02) 8627 6235 or email

​Investigating the delivery of an adapted fall prevention program using tele-practice: an innovative remote service delivery model for older Australians with low vision or blindness amid COVID-19

Researchers from the School of Optometry and Vison Science at UNSW are partnering with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to investigate the delivery of the Lifestyle-integrated Functional Exercise (LiFE) program, adapted for older adults with vision impairment (v-LiFE) using tele-practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has been shown to be feasibly delivered face-to-face by Orientation and Mobility Specialists, who are experts in the delivery of programs which teach people with low vision or blindness to independently and safely navigate through their environment. This implementation research will examine resource requirements and test whether the program was acceptable to those delivering and those receiving it. This will inform the ongoing delivery of programs, such as v-LiFE, using tele-practice both during and after the pandemic.

Contact: Dr Lisa Dillon, School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney,

Share your news

Do you have any news on Falls Prevention you want to share with others on the network, or report on a project that is happening in your area. We also welcome suggestions for articles and information you would like to see in this newsletter.  
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NSW Falls Prevention Network
Neuroscience Research Australia
PO Box 1165
Randwick NSW 2031


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NSW Falls Prevention Network · Barker St · Randwick · Sydney, Nsw 2031 · Australia

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