Falls and balance program

Falls can happen to anyone, regardless of age, and can affect your independence and the way you go about your daily activities.

Patient and caregiver during rehabilitation

After a surgery, an illness or injury you may be more prone to falls. Having a fall or losing your balance can affect your confidence and your ability to go about your everyday tasks.

We provide a safe environment when you stay with us and make sure you know how to reduce the risk of falls when you are home.

What causes falls?

Falls can be caused by:

  • physical factors, such as items inside and outside your home that can be trip hazards
  • health factors, such as poor eyesight or poor muscle strength and coordination
  • reactions to medication
  • fatigue.

Top tips to prevent falls in hospital

The top tips to help you from falling in hospital include:

  • keep the things you need within reach, such as glasses, the telephone, your water jug and the call bell
  • always take your time when getting up from lying or sitting down
  • make sure you have any walking aids within close reach, such as walking sticks, walking frames or crutches
  • minimise any clutter around your bed
  • keep well hydrated.

If at any stage, you feel unwell or unsteady on your feet, please let your caregivers know.

Your health care professional may assess you for falls risks, and may refer you to a falls specialist who can look at what may cause you to fall or lose your balance.

Our programs

You may be referred to attend a falls and balance rehabilitation program while in hospital or after you go home to help reduce your risk of falls. This may include:

  • Education on risk factors for falls and how to reduce these.
  • Exercises to improve strength, balance and reflexes required to prevent falls.
  • A review of your home environment to identify high risk areas and hazards.

Ballarat falls and balance program details

Our eight-week falls and balance exercise and education program at St John of God Ballarat Hospital is held every Monday and Wednesday afternoon. 

Each exercise session includes a graded exercise program, taken at the patient’s own pace, and focuses on improving lower limb strength, balance and coordination. 

The education sessions are extremely valuable for each patient to be able to learn about falls and balance and to assist in preventing future falls. 

Education topics include:

  • Exercise for falls prevention, Vision and Balance
  • Safer Homes
  • Footwear, Gait Aids and What to do when I Fall?
  • The safer option
  • Medication use and falls
  • Healthy eating for stronger bones
  • Tai chi for balance

For more information, please contact the Outpatient Rehabilitation Unit on 03 5320 2592.