Stepping On to prevent falls

It's a balancing act for participants of Stepping On at Canowindra Health Service. Photo: Kelsey Sutor
It's a balancing act for participants of Stepping On at Canowindra Health Service. Photo: Kelsey Sutor

Ahead of April Falls Day on Thursday, April 1, Western Local Health District has thrown its support behind the initiative.

Safe activity for everybody is the focus on April Falls day 2021, which encourages older Australians to get physically active reconnect with their social networks and community while highlighting the importance of participating in these activities safely.

The WNSWLHD Stepping On program is an example of the type of activity available for older Australians in the Western NSW Local Health District.

The program is based on the latest scientific research and is aimed at people over 65 who are living at home, and able to walk independently or with a walking stick.

"Every year across NSW there are 27,000 hospitalisations and more than 400 deaths because of falls," Falls Prevention and Management Coordinator, Desley Johnson said.

"The Stepping On program has been proven to get results with a 31 per cent reduction in falls in the communities."

The program runs over seven weeks.

It includes practical exercises to improve strength and balance and covers a range of topics, from vision and medication management to moving about safely in the community.

Canowindra and Eugowra Health Service Manager, Janice Rumph said that she has seen remarkable improvements in participant's strength and balance

"Thanks to the Stepping on, we've seen some signs of frailty in participants be reversed," she said.

"Reversing the signs of frailty means participants not only feel better but significantly reduce their risk of falls and maintain their independence.

"Another important benefit of the program is the impact on participant's wellbeing.

"It creates an opportunity for people to come together and connect."

Sessions are facilitated by local specialist health professionals and guest speakers.

To find out more about the Stepping On program contact Canowindra Community Health on 6364 4300 or Eugowra Community Health on 6850 4000 or visit http://www.steppingon.com/program/