Aged Care Royal Commission Findings

As an Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) accredited practice, some important findings have been identified in the recent Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report into Aged Care Quality and Safety. In this blog, we will be sharing with you information from the media release provided by the APA on the matter.

The final report by the Royal Commission identified a strong need for the promotion and maintenance of mobility in the sector to reduce life-threatening falls in older people. “The APA has a significant contribution of six submissions to the Royal Commission and presented expert evidence on falls prevention programs for both their mental and physical benefits.

Promoting and maintaining mobility and reducing the risk of life-threatening falls in older people was noted as critical in the final report, which found that access to physiotherapists, who are highly trained and skilled in strength, balance and mobility training, was often lacking in aged care.

The report recognised that “mobility was closely linked with people’s health and their quality of life [and that] poor mobility increased the risk of falls and fall-related injuries due to de-conditioning and reduced muscle strength.”

APA National President Scott Willis said, “Falls are the number one cause of preventable death in residential aged care. The lack of investment in falls prevention programs over a long period of time, particularly when there is such strong evidence for their value, is an oversight that has had tragic consequences for too many families.”

“The Royal Commission has rightly identified the critical role that physiotherapists play in aged care. These are highly skilled mobility experts who are literally helping to save and improve lives by ensuring residents are active, mobile and ultimately confident in their movement.”

“We know that mobility programs led by physiotherapists can reduce the number of falls in residential aged care by 55 per cent – the government simply has no excuse not to fund this critical care for older Australians.”

The report also found that those living with incontinence and dementia often received substandard care, which the APA has called out many times.

Mr. Willis said, “Appropriately qualified and experienced health professionals must be employed to provide the complex care and support that these extremely vulnerable people need. We have talked about team-based, holistic care in all health settings for a long time. There’s no more critical place for this to start than in aged care.”

At Progressive, our large and highly qualified team have extensive experience in both public and private sectors and have a wealth of experience with the elderly. Our strong team of exercise physiologists are able to work with elderly clients to create a customised and functional exercise program for them to follow to aid them in everyday life, with falls prevention a key component of these programs.

If you would like more information on a customised exercise physiology plan for yourself or an elderly family member or friend, please contact our friendly and compassionate team on (02) 4721 7798 or by emailing info@progressiverehab.com.au for more information.

Reference: APA Media  Release | 2nd March 2021  Aged Care Royal Commission Identifies Need For Falls Prevention Programs For Older People. 
Image: APA

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.