Falls Prevention

Jean, 78 years of age

  • History of a number of falls in the past 2-3 years, including fractured wrist and torn supraspinatus (rotator cuff muscle).
  • PCI left main coronary artery
  • Back pain


Jean had been physical active bringing up 4 boys and a girl, however as they grew up and moved on, Jean found less and less need to be active

Jean was aware that she needed to do more activity, however found she was not confident walking far on her own and had tried to join a gym a few years ago but did not feel comfortable with all “the young people”

A concern from our initial screening was Jean’s current body weight and loss of appetite. As she lived alone, she wasn’t interested in cooking and often skipped meals.


Synapse works with a number of allied health practitioners and after discussion with Jean we organised a referral to a dietitian to assist setting meal plans that matched her needs.

Jean had significant loss in muscle strength so it was important to start the program restoring strength in legs, but also the upper body to help improve posture and ability to get moving more in daily life.

We worked with Jean on increasing her balance with a number of exercises to specifically improve this area. An important part of the program was also restoring confidence in her ability to walk and take up activity. We set a number of small goals that Jean was able to achieve and she eventually became involved in her local golf club, which she used to lay at over 25 years ago.


Objective Assessment Results

Tests Initial Assessment 4 Months Follow-up
Standing balance (s) 7.8* 10s**
3 metre timed up and go (s) 8.82 6.44
Chair Stands (30s) 7 12
Arm Curls (30s) 9 14
Sit and Reach (cm) -17 0

* Semi-tandem balance

** Tandem balance

Significance of Results

Jean found her confidence to independently do physical activity. She now feels confident to do short walks from her house to a nearby park and plays golf each week. We are still working together to increase her confidence in walking and eat more regularly but it has been a big improvement.

The most significant thing has been that Jean has broken the cycle of inactivity which was leading to avoiding walking and moving, leading to her being more prone for further falls and injury. As a result Jean is now enjoying her walks and while not always enjoying her score card at golf, she is certainly motivated to keep going!