Services

Falls and Balance Clinic

Preventing Falls and Harm From Falls in Older Clients: Best Practice Guidelines for Australian Community Care 2009.

Preventing Falls and Harm From Falls in Older Persons; Best practice guidelines for Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities, 2009, ACSQH.

Department of Health and Human Services -  Falls prevention resources.

The Falls and Balance clinic is a specialist clinic that offers assessment and management including: diagnosis, intervention, education, advice and support for clients experiencing falls or balance problems.

The main aim of the clinic is to provide clients with an individualised assessment that identifies the main risk factors associated with falls and provides access to falls prevention strategies. This clinic is particularly relevant to clients where the cause of the falls is complex or unclear.

The clinic provides a multidisciplinary assessment with input from physiotherapy, occupational therapy and medical staff (either a geriatrician or rehabilitation physician).

 

All patients over 18 years old in the Eastern Health catchment area who experience falls or balance problems where the cause is unclear.

Clients who would benefit from a multidisciplinary assessment to identify the person’s individual risk factors for falling. This includes clients who have:

  • Had one or more falls in the last 12 months
  • Significant balance problems, placing them at risk of falls and affecting/limiting their ability to carry out daily tasks
  • Clients who are at risk of falling or have a fear of falling where they would benefit from a team assessment to specifically identify risk factors related to falls.
  • Clients with a diagnosed neurological condition and where that condition is likely to be the primary factor causing the falls and balance problems (e.g. multiple sclerosis or parkinson’s disease) and another service such as the Movement Disorders Program would be more appropriate.
  • Clients with other diagnosed medical problems or orthopaedic conditions that have been identified as causing their falls (e.g. osteoarthritis of knee requiring a replacement surgery).
  • Clients who have had recent similar investigations or management of their falls and balance problems in a community program AND have had no significant change in status since that time.
  • Clients where the falls have been solely associated with a history of syncope, seizure or collapse and may need to be referred for other specialist medical assessment (e.g. cardiologist, neurologist)
  • Client who are primarily non-ambulant e.g. using a wheelchair
  • Clients who are a permanent resident of a high level of care Aged Care Facility
  • Clients who have a severe cognitive impairment and would be unable to participate in the assessment process or management of their falls risks.
  • Referrals requesting the management of an identified vestibular or dizziness issue where falls aren’t the main problem (consider direct referral to Community Rehabilitation Program)
  • Referrals for single discipline input, i.e. physiotherapy
  • Referrals requesting only a home visit or gait aid assessment (refer directly to a Community Health Centre occupational therapist or physiotherapist)
  • $10.00 per session, capped at $20/week (effective from 1st March 2018)
  • This cost can be discussed in the case of financial hardship

Geriatrician
Physiotherapist
Occupational Therapist

Frequently asked questions

By using the Subacute Ambulatory Community referral form or call the Eastern Health SACS referral form can be faxed to the Community Access Unit:
Fax (03) 9881 1102 and Phone (03) 9881 1100.

 

The clinic will accept referrals from any health professional, General Practitioner (GP), clients themselves and/or their carer. It is preferable that the client’s GP is aware of the referral and supportive of it. In cases where the referral does not come from the client’s GP, then the client will be strongly encouraged by the Community Access Unit staff to inform their GP, however the referral will still be accepted and the client waitlisted for an appointment.

There is often a lack of understanding about the difference between the service offered by the Falls and Balance clinic and Community Rehabilitation Programs. This means that referrals need to be carefully assessed so that the client receives the service that best matches their needs. If the referrer is only seeking an exercise group for the client a Community Health Centre is the more appropriate place to refer the client. Otherwise contact the Eastern Health Access Unit Ph 9881 1100

-All clients accepted into the Falls and Balance Clinic attends a Falls Education Session. The aim of this session is to learn about the multiple risk factors that can contribute to why they are having falls and start identifying/assessing which falls risk factors may be relevant to them. This session, which is run by the program’s occupational therapist, also assess the need for further occupational therapy intervention if indicated. Carers are encouraged to attend the session to assist the client in completion of assessment worksheets and to be able to support them to follow the recommendations made during the program. Following attendance of this session clients are then booked in for their medical and physiotherapy appointments on a later date.

Clients are assessed by the doctor and physiotherapist one after the other lasting approximately 2 hrs. Individual risk factors and reasons for falling are further explored and strategies are recommended.

Recommendations and agreed strategies are devised and given to the client from these assessments to reduce their risk of falling. Clients are referred to services as appropriate, i.e. General Practitioner, Community Health Centre, Community Rehab Program, private services. Clients receive a copy of the agreed recommendations.

A review appointment with either the geriatrician or rehabilitation physician or physio is completed 3 months after the medical and physio assessments to review compliance with the recommendations and to determine if there has been a positive change in their fall patterns.

Recommendations are made or strategies are advised to the client from these assessments to reduce their risk of falling.

Clients are referred to services as appropriate, i.e. General Practitioner, Community Health Centre, Community Rehab Program, private services. Clients receive a copy of the recommendations based on their individual needs and wishes.

 

Angliss Hospital

Address

Albert Street Upper Ferntree Gully Vic 3156

Contact

P Ambulatory Access Unit PH: 9881 1100 F 9881 1102

Hours

Tuesdays

Car Parking
Off-site car parking is available (with a fee) at the Albert Street car park. • Disabled car parking is available at the hospital’s main driveway, accessible from Talaskia Road. • Restricted 2 hour (street) parking is available around the hospital.

Peter James Centre

Address

Cnr. Mahoneys Road & Burwood Highway, Burwood East 3151

Contact

P Ambulatory Access Unit PH: 9881 1100 F 9881 1102

Hours

Tuesdays and Thursday

Car Parking
On site free parking is available is the designated area in front of Community Rehabilitation Centre. • Restricted 2 hour (street) parking is available around the hospital.

Yarra Ranges Health

Address

25 Market St, Lilydale, 3140

Contact

P Ambulatory Access Unit PH: 9881 1100 F 9881 1102

Hours

Tuesdays

Car Parking
Free parking within the facility and restricted street parking is available around the facility