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Community care workers taking on falls prevention in WA

Training up community care workers in falls prevention may help curb the declining number of clients taking part in preventive exercise programs, new research suggests.

Study lead Dr Elissa Burton, from the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science at Curtin University, said older people receiving community care services in Australia are twice as likely to fall as older people of the same age who are not receiving services.

The research, published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, followed 25 community care workers across Western Australia who delivered falls prevention exercise programs to older clients who were either at low or medium risk of falling over.

Each community care worker received four hours of training before offering programs to clients as part of existing services.

“Our research found that 82 per cent of surveyed clients enjoyed the exercises they were given, with 59 per cent saying the activities in the falls prevention program made a positive change in their health,” Burton said.

“This tells us that the clients saw the benefit of taking part in falls prevention exercise programs and those programs were safely incorporated into the existing services offered by community care workers.”

Nursing Review spoke with Burton about the training involved and feedback from clients.

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