29 March 2021
By Janet Leung, Head of Customer & Communications Allity
Falls and dementia are among the biggest health threats to older Australians, particularly those living in residential aged care homes. This was further highlighted in the Royal Commission into Aged Care’s final report addressing the risk of falls and fractures for our elderly.
For almost a decade NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia) has been taking a proactive approach to addressing the challenges of falls prevention in people over the age of 65 through its Falls Balance and Injury Research Centre.
Professor Stephen Lord, Senior Principal Research Fellow at NeuRA who heads up the Falls Balance and Injury Research Centre says:
“When it comes to the safety and quality of life of residents in the aged care system, keeping people mobile, fit and well is nothing less than crucial.”
NeuRA’s investigations shows that targeted interventions can reduce fall rates by 20-50% in adults over the age of 65 years.
NeuRA’s research has led to the development of the smart±step. The program uses a dance mat and adapted versions of well-known video games like La Cucaracha and Tetris to step-train the brain. The program aims to promote mobility, balance and cognitive function – all critical skills for healthy ageing.
Allity has teamed up with NeuRA to further develop and refine the smart±step program for implementation across our homes. The program was piloted in four Allity locations in New South Wales and Victoria in December-January. We have now commenced a staged roll-out across the remaining Allity homes in the first half of 2021. On completion of the roll-out, it is envisaged smart±step will be available for broader market adoption.
This important partnership has provided our residents with the opportunity to participate in a fun game that also supports brain and balance training.
Got a question about Allity’s partnership with NeuRA or want to send some feedback? Ask an Allity Expert.