The APA supports April No Falls

16 April 2015

More than one-third of people aged 65 years and over fall at least once every year – accounting for 1 million older Australians.

April 2015 marks ‘April No Falls’ in WA and NSW, an annual initiative centred on falls awareness. The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) understands falls are a common and significant problem, which can result in devastating consequences and requires action from health professionals.

APA CEO, Chris Massis, says it’s imperative that fall rates start to decline as the proportion of older people in the global population continues to grow.

“Physiotherapists are well placed to make an important contribution to the challenge of preventing falls in older people. Falls often result in injuries, loss of confidence and poor activity levels and community participation and is an issue all health professionals need to priorities,” Massis said.

A recent article in the Journal of Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy in the prevention of falls in older people by Professor Catherine Sherrington, explains the proportion of Australians aged over 65 years is predicted to increase from 13 percent (3 million people) in 2010 to around 24 percent (9 million people) by 2050.

By 2050, around 2.7 million older Australians will fall each year and national annual health costs from fall-related injury are predicted to increase almost threefold, to AUD1.4 billion, if current fall rates cannot be reduced.

“People carry out tasks in a range of different settings throughout the day and falls can occur due to disparity between individual’s physiological function, environment requirements and the individual’s behaviour.

“We know group exercise, home safely and multifactorial interventions can decrease risk of falls and physiotherapists play an important role in identifying the most applicable means of early intervention, prevention and treatment,” Massis said.

Physiotherapy in the prevention of falls in older people, Catherine Sherrington: Journal of Physiotherapy

About the Journal of Physiotherapy

The Journal of Physiotherapy is the official journal of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA). The Editorial Board's mission is to publish significant research which has important implications for physiotherapy. APA's vision is for the journal to be the pre-eminent international publication of the science and practice of physiotherapy.

Australian Journal of Physiotherapy was first published in 1954; content from all issues back to Vol 1 No 1 will be available on this site. In 2010 the journal title changed to Journal of Physiotherapy.

About the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)

The APA is the peak body representing the interests of Australian physiotherapists and their patients. It is a national organisation with state and territory branches and specialty subgroups. The APA represents more than 17,000 members who conduct more than 21 million consultations each year. To find a physiotherapist in your area, visit www.physiotherapy.asn.au/

For further information, or to speak with an expert physiotherapist, please contact:

Ruth Heenan, Australian Physiotherapy Association
T 03 9092 0813, 0416 565 332 E Ruth.Heenan@physiotherapy.asn.au
Pammy Kokoras, Undertow Media
T 03 9421 1317 or 0421 105 710 E Pammy@undertowmedia.com
Rachael Horan, Undertow Media
T 03 9421 1318 or 0426 631 316 E rachael@undertowmedia.com