News and events

Find out the latest news from our Research Centre, hear from RAIL members in the media and keep up-to-date on our events.

Website to promote physical activity for older people during COVID-19 restrictions

May 2020

A small group of experienced physiotherapist researcher/clinician/academics from across Australia (including Keith Hill and Michele Callisaya from Monash University) saw a need a few weeks ago as the COVID-19 restrictions were impacting, to develop a resource to support older people to stay active, or become more active. Over a few short weeks, the team have developed a new website (Safe exercise at home – that was launched on Tuesday 5th May. The website includes sections highlighting general information, safety considerations, tips for staying motivated, and how hard you should work, as well as three levels of exercise (including sample exercise sheets, and recommended videos for people with different levels of function), success stories (older people who have managed to stay active during COVID-19, and their tips), and some resources / web links for health professionals who are seeking additional information and resources.

The website has been reviewed by consumers and international experts, and has been endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association. This was an excellent example of a group of individuals nationally with specific expertise in physical activity for older people, working quickly and remotely to address an identified need, with no funding or additional resources (done within the context of everyone’s existing priorities and work commitments, on a very tight timeline).

As well as Keith and Michelle, the team was led by Cathie Sherrington (University of Sydney) and Cathy Said (University of Melbourne), and other team members were Shylie Mackintosh (University of South Australia), Frances Batchelor (NARI), Anne-Marie Hill (Curtin University), Stephanie Fu (University of Queensland) and Rik Dawson (Australian Physiotherapy Association). Special thanks also to Courtney West from University of Sydney for managing all aspects of the web design.

Agents of Change: Healthier at Home

March 2020

With Australian life expectancy increasing, there are many aspects of our healthcare systems that could be improved to cater to the nation’s future needs. Watch Professor Keith Hill and Associate Professor Libby Callaway talk about the important work RAIL is doing to improve how people live, with greater independence and better quality of life.

Visit to Monash Malaysia and the World Falls and Postural Stability Conference

December 2019

RAIL Director Professor Keith Hill recently visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend the first World Conference on Falls and Postural Stability.  At the conference, he presented the outcomes of the successful RESPOND RCT in reducing falls for older people presenting to emergency departments, led by Monash University.  In addition, he moderated a symposium on falls prevention programs and research in Singapore, and attended a fireside chat to informally discuss international issues and potential solutions in falls prevention, led by researchers from Singapore.

Professor Hill also visited the Gerotechnology Laboratory at Monash’s Malaysia campus, led by Associate Professor Pei Lee Teh, and meeting with researchers with research interests aligned to RAIL to discuss possible future collaborations.  There are a number of synergies in the research interests and outcomes of the Gerotechnology Laboratory team at Monash Malaysia, and RAIL, which we aim to explore further with potential collaborative grants and other activities.

RAIL represented at Bold Ideas Better Solutions Symposium

October 2019

Associate Professor Libby Callaway recently participated in a panel on emerging technologies hosted by the Hopkins Centre in Brisbane as part of their 2 019 Bold Ideas Better Solutions Symposium .

Panel members discussed the current opportunities and challenges with the emerging mainstream and assistive technology market, the importance of technology user co-design, individualised and customised approaches to technology, and ongoing evaluation of effectiveness over time. To ensure best practice approaches to the use of technology to build independent living, the group also discussed the need for research to inform government policy. Discussion included the National Disability Insurance Scheme assistive technology strategy, the Australian Government's Artificial Intelligence Ethics Framework and the current Regulatory Impact Assessment by the Australian Building Codes Board in relation to accessible housing.

Too many young Australians are still stuck in nursing homes

September 2019

Around 6000 Australians aged under 65 live in nursing homes, cut off from their families and peers, with inadequate support for their disabilities. Associate Professor Libby Callaway and Adjunct lecturer Susan Sloane explore this issue and what needs to be done.

Read the full article: Too many young Australians are still stuck in nursing homes

A Different Lens: The Ageing Population

September 2019

For the first time in human history, the world is facing an ever-growing ageing population, and we’re ill-prepared to handle it. How do we increase social inclusion and quality of life for the current and future older population? RAIL members, Dr Alana Hewitt and Associate Professor Teh Pei Lee both weigh into this complex issue.