Falls and balance

As we get older we are more susceptible to falling over and losing our balance. As falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and hospitalisation in older people, this is one of NARI's key research areas with a focus on identifying physiological and behavioural risk factors, and prevention strategies.

For further information on these projects, please contact Dr Frances Batchelor: F.Batchelor@nari.edu.au or Sue Williams: S.Williams@nari.edu.au

Falls prevention after stroke survivors return home

This multi-centre study evaluated the effectiveness of a targeted falls intervention program in reducing falls following stroke. It has been shown that individuals who have suffered stroke have a higher rate of falls than in the general population.

Effectiveness of a screening program for early balance problems and targeted exercise interventions among older community ambulant Veterans

Many older people who feel a little unsteady, or experience occasional falls tend to put this down to the effects of ageing, and do not seek advice about the fall, or ways to minimise risk of future falls. This study recruited 225 older people who were independent walking away from home, but who felt unsteady or had occasional minor falls.

Preventing future falls in older people presenting to the Emergency Department following a fall

The project evaluated the effectiveness of a targeted multi-factor intervention in improving health and well being of older people who present to an Emergency Department (ED) following a fall. It also identified those within this high-risk population most likely to benefit from the intervention program.

Falls and disturbed sleep patterns in older people: a pilot study

This project investigated the frequency of specific sleep difficulties (e.g. sleep apnoea, periodic leg movements) in people aged 70 and over who had previously fallen.

Falls prevention in rural and remote settings

NARI partnered with Kimberley Aged and Community Services in Western Australia, and Amaroo Aged Care in Berrigan, New South Wales, to develop and deliver context specific falls education packages.