Juniper rolls out falls prevention program

The program includes personalised education modules and exercise routines.

Non-profit Western Australia aged care provider Juniper is trialling a community falls prevention program across its home care customer base.

Funded by the HCF Research Foundation and led by researchers from the University of Western Australia, the program is being rolled out to more than 100 home care clients.

The program – which was co-designed with Juniper customers – includes personalised education modules and exercise routines.

Bernie Wong and Kesha Logan

Using a train-the-trainer education model, five members of Juniper staff – including physiotherapy lead Bernie Wong and occupational therapy lead Kesha Logan – will receive the initial training before passing on the falls prevention knowledge to other members of the Juniper team.

“We will train the therapy assistants and the community support workers, and they will be the ones who will carry out the education, exercises and different recommendations with the customers,” said Mr Wong.

The research program – which will run until late 2025 – supports the work already conducted by Juniper’s home care team, said Mr Wong. “Not only does the program complement what we already do really well through out home care services,  but it reinforces the importance of providing falls prevention education to our customers who are still living at home.”

Preventing falls is not always well understood

Dr Jacqueline Francis-Coad
Dr Jacqueline Francis-Coad

UWA lead researcher Dr Jacqueline Francis-Coad said a risk of falls can lead to serious injuries, resulting in reduced mobility and a loss of independence which, for some older people, may result in a move to an aged care home. However, many people – including home care workers – lack the necessary know-how to prevent falls from happening.

“We’ve worked with older adults and staff in a range of healthcare settings and found that preventing falls is not always well understood,” she said. “Training community therapy assistants and home care support workers to deliver the programs means they could be included as part of usual home visits.”

The aim of the falls prevention program is to keep Juniper customers at home for as long as possible, said Mr Wong. “Programs like this aim to support them to maintain their independence, while also keeping them safe, in their home and community.”

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Tags: falls prevention, HCF Research Foundation, home care, juniper, University of Western Australia,

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