Stepping On

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Program/Project  Stepping On
Period/Length  7 weeks
Aim  To reduce falls injury in older people
Year  2008 – present
Target Group  Older people living in Northern NSW
Reach 3000 participants to April 2014
Locations  Most Northern NSW towns, also across NSW
Partners  NSW Health
Funding NSW Health
Full Report
More Information See below and link to website –CHEGS at Age Well

What strategies were used?

This exercise and information program is a free program where older people attend regular group sessions facilitated by local specialist health professionals and invited guest speakers. Stepping On is designed for people who are living at home and who have fallen or are fearful of falling. Evaluation has shown that Stepping On helps older people maintain independence and gives them confidence in their mobility so they are able to undertake their everyday activities safely and without the risk of falling. The program covers a range of topics, including vision, medicines and practical exercises to improve strength and balance. The group-based sessions run for two hours a week for seven weeks, followed by a refresher session three months later. Stepping on is run by our Community Health Education Group (CHEGS) exercise facilitators.

What were the program outcomes?

The Stepping On program was evaluated via a randomized controlled trial with 310 community residents age 70 and older who had had a fall in the previous 12 months or were concerned about falling.  The intervention group experienced a 31% reduction in falls. (Relative risk (RR) =0.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) =0.50–0.96; P=.025).

Source: Clemson L, Cumming RG, Kendig H, Swann M, Heard R, Taylor K. The Effectiveness of a Community-Based Program for Reducing the Incidence of Falls in the Elderly: A Randomized Trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. (Sept 2004) 52 (9): 1487–1494. [Online]