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Queensland Stay On Your Feet® Toolkit Phase 2

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Step 2A: Prioritise evidence-based strategies

Research shows that falls and fall related injuries are not random events, and in most cases can be predicted and prevented. When developing your plan of action, you will need to choose appropriate strategies, based on evidence and your priorities.

Look at the evidence: Falls risk factors and what works
Before you choose which strategies you will use in your community, you need to be aware of the evidence relating to falls risk factors and what works. This site provides detailed information about risk factors such as physical activity, vision, medicines, home safety, foot care and footwear, continence and the fear of falling - and what works to counteract them. This information will help you determine the best strategies based on the most prevalent risk factors in your community. You can also read additional scientific research about falls prevention.

Consider relevant theory and models
There is a range of theories and models that can assist you to develop a falls prevention action plan.

Look at your findings and decide your approach
Taking into account the evidence and your findings from Phase 1, you will be able to identify:

  • what is already being done for falls prevention and healthy active ageing that can be linked to and promoted
  • opportunities to strengthen existing relevant services and programs
  • gaps in current services and programs.

Your approach will differ depending on whether you want to work on a community, organisational and/or an individual level. Read our tips below:

Community Undertake a community-based planning process within an identified community with a range of key stakeholders. To get started, review community stocktake results from Phase 1 and arrange a getting started meeting  with key stakeholders. Set mutually achievable goals, objectives, and strategies. Develop community action plans with clear roles and responsibilities and timeframes. Writing this up and sharing with key stakeholders is essential.
Organisational Consider what can be done within the organisation to help reduce falls and promote healthy active ageing. Ensure the chosen strategy matches the organisation's core role and mission [94]. Organisations may require support to take up projects/programs eg. meetings, demonstrating advantages, training, resources and materials [90]. Assisting an organisation to see how falls prevention can be linked into their core business, existing structures, systems and services will increase the reach of messages to the target group and improve the program's success and sustainability.
Individual Identify high risk individuals, assess their risk, tailor interventions to meet their identified needs and refer them to appropriate health and/or community services. An easy way to get started is to engage a range of health professionals to undertake falls risk screening, assessments, interventions and referrals. Falls prevention will be more effective and result in better outcomes if an integrated, consistent and coordinated approach to falls prevention across the health continuum is used.

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Consider your priorities
Initially, it may seem too difficult to address falls and its prevention and healthy active ageing in its entirety. Consequently, it may be useful to:

  • narrow the initial focus of implementation by prioritising and focusing efforts
  • break down work into smaller, more manageable tasks
  • work incrementally to ultimately create a comprehensive and sustainable response.

During your decision making process, you will also need to:

  • consider the cost/benefit of your falls prevention program and choose interventions known to be effective, efficient and equitable
  • assess the risk and benefits of doing the intervention as well as the cost and community readiness (a risk factor template is available to assist you with this process).

It is recommended that you begin with easier achievements, early wins and something visible that people can easily see to be working eg. exercise classes. This step is imperative as it provides something visible and tangible for the community, gains further support for the program and helps other organisations and government departments to 'buy in'.

 

Tools and templates
Planning tools and techniquies

Ready to start?
Go to Step 2B: Engage stakeholders

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Last updated: 3 October 2012