On December 1 an inaugural South Coast Lawn Bowls Championship was held where residents from various aged care facilities across the South Coast competed in a round robin style competition.
Australian Health Professionals in partnership with Bowls NSW, Bowls Australia and Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club ran the event with over 130 competitors and supporters coming together from Uniting Mayflower Gerringong, Uniting Elanora Shellharbour, Marco Polo Woonona Care Services, Uniting Farmborough Unanderra, Uniting Osborne Nowra and Marco Polo Unanderra Care Services.
The championship not only created some healthy and fun competition, it was also an opportunity to educate participants about falls prevention.
In 2016 accidental falls were responsible for more deaths than high blood pressure or melanoma.
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Falls account for 40 per cent of injury-related deaths and are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisation in people over the age of 65. This brings into perspective the importance of educating those at risk.
Falls education and prevention is one of the key areas that helps to reduce falls in the elderly, specifically, an evidence-based strength and balance falls prevention program.
Jarryd Langford, senior physiotherapist at Australian Health Professionals said, “By linking our falls prevention and education program with lawn bowls, a much-loved pastime for many of the individuals under our care, we aim to appeal to a wider audience, as well as maintaining their long-term enthusiasm towards a more active lifestyle.”
In collaboration with Bowls NSW, a new set of competition rules has been created to improve access to those who find themselves otherwise challenged to compete by their respective levels of strength and mobility.
Due to the success of this event, they anticipate running more of the South Coast Lawn Bowls Championships next year in 2018 and encourage aged care facilities and residents to get involved.