NSW Falls Prevention Network e-news
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e-Newsletter 1 2018

Welcome to our e-newsletter

For your Diary

Save the Date : NSW Falls Prevention Network Rural Forum
Thursday 8th March 2018, CSU Convention Centre, Wagga Wagga
Registration form
Draft program


NSW Falls Prevention Network Forum 2018

Where: Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt St, Sydney
When: Friday 11th May 2018
Abstract submission open by end of January

April Falls Day® 2018 will be held on Wednesday 4 April 2018. 
The theme for 2018 April Falls Day® is Nutrition and Hydration – Eating well to prevent falls.

April Falls merchandise (t-shirts, baloons, pens, sticky notes and glasses cleaners) is available for purchase by LHDs and service providers. Merchandise catalogue and order form are available on our website All orders need to be with Good Gear by Wednesday, 7 February 2018, including a purchase order number (for Local Health District orders).

Please contact Ingrid Hutchinson, NSW Falls Prevention Project Officer on 02 9269 5516 or for further information.


Vision impairment and fall risk in older people: a mini-review

Vision makes an important contribution to balance, and impaired vision resulting from eye disease (macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts) is a significant independent risk factor for falls and fractures in older people. Restricted visual field size and reduced ability to detect low contrast hazards, judge distances and perceive spatial all appear to be the major visual risk factors for falls. Multifocal glasses can add to fall risk because their near-vision lenses impair distance contrast sensitivity and depth perception in the lower visual field reducing the ability of an older person to detect environmental hazards. There is now randomised controlled trial evidence that maximising vision through restricting multifocal glasses use to active older people and cataract surgery for the first eye are effective fall prevention strategies. Occupational therapy interventions involving home hazard reductions are also effective in preventing falls in severe visually impaired older people. It is therefore important older people undergo regular eye examinations by eye care providers (optometrists and ophthalmologists).
To access the complete mini-review click on button below.
Mini-review - Vision and fall risk
Research Update

Physical frailty is associated with longitudinal decline in global cognitive function in non-demented older adults: a prospective study
Chen S, Honda T, Narazaki K, Chen T, Kishimoto H, Haeuchi Y, Kumagai S.
J. Nutr. Health Aging 2018; 22(1): 82-88.
Affiliation: Dr. Shuzo Kumagai, Department of Behavior and Health Sciences, Graduate School of Human-Environment Studies, Kyushu University, 6-1 Kasuga Koen, Kasuga City, Fukuoka Prefecture, 816-8580, Japan, Telephone number: +81 92-583-7853, Fax number: +81 92-583-7853, E-mail:
(Copyright © 2018, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)
DOI 10.1007/s12603-017-0924-1 PMID 29300426
OBJECTIVES: To assess the relationship between physical frailty and subsequent decline in global cognitive function in the non-demented elderly.
DESIGN AND SETTING: A prospective population-based study in a west Japanese suburban town, with two-year follow-up.
PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwellers aged 65 and older without placement in long-term care, and not having a history of dementia, Parkinson's disease and depression at baseline, who participated in the cohort of the Sasaguri Genkimon Study and underwent follow-up assessments two years later (N = 1,045).
MEASUREMENTS: Global cognitive function was assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Physical frailty was identified according to the following five components: weight loss, low grip strength, exhaustion, slow gait speed and low physical activities. Linear regression models were used to examine associations between baseline frailty status and the MoCA scores at follow-up. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the risk of cognitive decline (defined as at least two points decrease of MoCA score) according to baseline frailty status.
RESULTS: Seven hundred and eight non-demented older adults were included in the final analyses (mean age: 72.6 ± 5.5 years, male 40.3%); 5.8% were frail, and 40.8% were prefrail at baseline. One hundred and fifty nine (22.5%) participants experienced cognitive decline over two years. After adjustment for baseline MoCA scores and all confounders, being frail at baseline was significantly associated with a decline of 1.48 points (95% confidence interval [CI], -2.37 to -0.59) in MoCA scores, as compared with non-frailty. Frail persons were over two times more likely to experience cognitive decline (adjusted odds ratio 2.28; 95% CI, 1.02 to 5.08), compared to non-frail persons.
CONCLUSION: Physical frailty is associated with longitudinal decline in global cognitive function in the non-demented older adults over a period of two years. Physically frail older community-dwellers should be closely monitored for cognitive decline that can be sensitively captured by using the MoCA.

Abstracts from the research literature
Updated resources

Staying active and on your feet booklets
Booklet produced by NSW Health for patients and carers, includes health and lifestyle checklist, strength & balance exercises to do at home, home safety checklist, and how to get up from a fall. The booklets can be ordered through the Active and Healthy website at:

The booklet is also available to download in a number of community languages; Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Greek, Italian and Vietnamese at
Just scroll down to download the booklets.

Access other resources
Website News
New sections have been added to the NSW Falls Prevention Network website these include: If there are resources that should be added to the website let us know by sending an email to

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