April marks April Falls Month organised by NSW Falls Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network supported by COTA NSW.

Falls are a leading health concern for older Australians with it being the most hospitalised cause of injury and injury deaths in Australians over 65 [1]. One in three people aged over 65 fall each year. Falls can cause head injuries, broken bones, loss of confidence and lengthy hospital stays. Based on 2019-20 data of Australians aged 65+, falls make up 71% of injury deaths [2].

However, with regular exercise, falls can be reduced so the aim of this month’s April Falls Month is to promote being active to improve balance and overall health and wellbeing.

Fall Prevention in the Home

‘Fall-proofing your home is also crucial’ our COTA Living Longer, Living Stronger Lead, Kamilla Haufort reminds us. To prevent falls in your home, check for hazards. Consider how you store and access items within and around your home. Assess trip hazards such as rugs and low-lying objects in your home. Look at using the HomeFAST screening tool, created by the NSW Government and the University of Sydney. This tool provides a risk assessment of falls in your home at no cost. Click here to access the HomeFAST tool.

Healthy Exercise

“Keeping active is essential for health ageing” – NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Aging Network

Falls are dangerous and not a normal part of ageing. However, as you age, your strength, and balance and medical issues that you may develop combine to impact your risk of falling. Staying active with regular exercise reduces your risk of falling by 23%. [3].

Regular exercise of three hours or more per week that includes strength and balance components were found to reduce falls by 42 %. The facts don’t lie.

April Falls Month healthy ageing - COTA NSW

Getting Started

Exercise examples and guides can be found on the COTA NSW websiteCOTA NSW understands the evidence and that’s why we are building the capability of exercise physiologists and personal trainers across NSW to deliver safe and proven exercises that build strength and improve balance. Living Longer, Living Stronger, COTA Classes.

Join the Community Speaker Program

All the evidence says that peer to peer information and guidance compliments evidence based and professional advice to deliver great outcomes. We are building a network of Community Speakers who are interested in health and wellbeing, strength, and balance training. Our trained and supported Community Speakers are volunteer peers who provide community education on a range of topics. Connect with us at info@cotansw.com.au or call us at any time 1800 449 102 if you are interested in being part of our growing network of peer speakers.

[1], [2] Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing (2022) Falls in older Australians 2019-20: hospitalisations and deaths among people aged 65 and over. AIHW, Australian Government
[3] Sherrington C, Fairhall N, Wallbank G, et al. Br J Sports Med 2020;54:885–891.
[4] Sherrington et al. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (2020) 17:144