The ILC has proudly led and been involved in a range of research projects for many years. Recently ILC Service Manager Hilary O’Connell featured as a co-author for a paper on falls prevention titled ‘Falls prevention in community care: 10 years on’.
An established occupational therapist, Hilary (pictured above) has broad expertise in Australia and internationally in aged and community services. Her passion for the development and delivery of enablement service models for older people, with a particular interest in falls prevention, has led to her overseeing the ILC’s recently introduced HACC Allied Health Service amongst other enabling projects at the ILC.
Through this service allied health professionals provide people with short-term occupational therapy and physiotherapy services with a focus on regaining or maintaining their physical, functional and cognitive abilities, which supports their safety and maximises their independence and quality of life. Falls prevention is one such part of supporting people’s safety.
It is not surprising that with Hilary’s extensive experience in this area that she has co-authored this paper.
The aim of the study was to identify the falls prevalence rates of older people from 10 Australian community care organisations and compare current falls prevention data to a study 10 years prior that utilised the same 10 organisations. The study also identified factors associated with falling for this population.
Hilary said the results re-iterate how important it is to incorporate balance exercise programs into older people’s lives, and also the importance of providing a falls prevention program as soon as someone has had a fall, or is considered at high risk of falling.
Published in the Dove Medical Press journal and publicised throughout numerous publications and media including SBS news, Yahoo New Zealand, Australian Ageing Agenda and Medical Xpress, the study has aided towards bringing falls prevention further into the spotlight.
To find out more about ILC’s allied health services, including working with people to provide falls prevention support, check out our HACC Allied Health Service or call (08) 9381 0677.