Stay On Your Feet® and Stay Active in the Wheatbelt

Injury Matters is taking their flagship program Stay On Your Feet® to the Wheatbelt to launch their Build Your Balance campaign aimed at keeping older adults healthy and independent by preventing falls.

The Stay On Your Feet® Build Your Balance campaign launch will demonstrate tips to help maintain and improve balance in older adults, which is essential for everyday tasks including walking, getting out of a chair and shopping.

Injury Matters is also partnering with the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Stay Active program, a seniors’ fitness class run by volunteers throughout the Wheatbelt.

The free event will include the Wheatbelt’s biggest seniors Stay Active class, a tai chi demonstration, balance testing and tips, and volunteer awards. All Wheatbelt residents over 60 are encouraged to attend the event.

The event will be held on Friday 1 September at the John Higgins Community Centre in Narrogin, from 10.00am – 1.30pm, and includes a free lunch for all attendees.
Injury Prevention Manager Rachel Meade said Injury Matters and WACHS made excellent partners.

“We’re both working towards the same goals – letting older Australians know that they can remain healthy and independent by following a few simple steps,” she said.

“We want people to know that falls are preventable, and that by improving your balance and leg strength, and removing trip hazards from your home, people can prevent falls and stay independent.”

“1 in 3 people over 65 will fall each year, but falls don’t have to be a part of getting older”

Stay Active volunteer leader, 80 year old Lindsay Rowley from Narrogin, said he enjoyed leading the fitness classes and had clocked up about 13 years’ service. He started out accompanying his wife, and later learnt to be an instructor.

“It keeps me active physically, as well as mentally, because I’m always learning new movements and meeting people. I know that helps me stay independent and healthy,”

“We include a lot of balance exercises in our classes, and we often have 40 people take part. The oldest amongst us is 88 years old,”

“I’ve had a few friends who have had falls and it can be really painful and often keep you housebound, or in hospital. I want to avoid that of course, and keeping up my strength and balance is one of the ways I can do that,” he said.

As well as the huge emotional and physical cost of a fall there is also a very significant financial cost to the WA community – falls cost about $2.2 billion per year in WA alone.

Injury Matters coordinates Stay On Your Feet® which promotes how to keep active and alert through the Move Improve Remove campaigns to prevent slips, trips and falls.

To RSVP for the event please contact Paige at Southern Wheatbelt Primary Health on (08) 9881 0385 or by Thursday 24 August.

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