Optimising Exercise Programs for Older People to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

Due to the ageing population, there is a growing demand for health and fitness professionals to deliver effective exercise programs to promote health and prevent falls in older people. However, engaging and sustaining older people’s participation in falls prevention exercise programs is a continual challenge.

This course has been developed by leading falls prevention researchers and health professionals to address these challenges. It will provide participants with evidence-based practical tools and information on how to design and deliver effective falls prevention exercise programs. Participants will gain practical skills on how to assess and design exercises to improve balance, as well as strategies such as positive health messaging to promote adherence to balance exercises. The course will also include an interactive workshop on how to add variety into balance exercise programs.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the prevalence and consequences of falls in the Australian community
  • Identify the intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for falls
  • Describe the balance systems of the human body
  • Recognise the importance of balance testing and its role in falls prevention
  • Discuss the safety considerations associated with balance testing
  • Describe the goals of balance exercise programs
  • Identify the key ingredients of effective programs
  • Describe public health models of communication and marketing that can be adopted in promoting participation in falls prevention activities for older Australians
  • Review case study examples of how positive health messages have been embedded in physical activity programs for older Australians

Course outline

8:30am – 9:00am Registration
9:00am – 9:30am Introduction and the problem of falls
Associate Professor Anna Barker
9:30am – 10:30am Balance systems and how to measure balance
Dr Sze-Ee Soh
10:30am – 10:50am Morning Tea
10:50am – 11:30am Exercises to improve balance and prevent falls
Dr Renata Morello
11:30am – 12:00pm Positive health messages to increase exercise engagement 
Dr Darshini Ayton
12:00pm – 12:30pm Strategies to promote adherence to balance exercises
Associate Professor Anne Tiedemann
12:30pm – 1:15pm Lunch
1:15pm – 3:30pm Falls play: adding variety into falls exercise programs
Sally Castell
3:30pm – 4:00pm Panel discussion and closing remarks

Who should attend

  • Fitness professionals
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Health promotion practitioners
  • Fitness educators
  • Health educators
  • Researchers
  • Academics

Accreditation

This course is accredited with Physical Activity Australia for 2 PDP points.
This course is accredited with Fitness Australia for 4 CEC points.


Course Director

Dr Sze-Ee Soh

PhD, BSc (Physiotherapy) (Honours)

Senior Lecturer, Department of Physiotherapy - Monash University

Sze-Ee is senior lecturer and post-doctoral research fellow in the School of Primary and Allied Health Care at Monash University. She is an experienced physiotherapist with an extensive clinical background in delivering physiotherapy services for older adults. She completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons) in 2001 from Curtin University of Technology and was awarded a PhD from The University of Melbourne in 2011. Her doctoral research contributed new knowledge towards understanding how people with a chronic progressive disease perceived their life quality. She is the course coordinator for the Doctor of Physiotherapy program.

Sze-Ee has a unique set of research skills, with particular expertise in quantitative data analysis and is currently completing a Master in Biostatistics. Her main areas of research include Parkinson’s disease, falls, osteoarthritis, quality of life, safety climate, patient safety outcomes and the psychometric properties of outcome measures.