The 8th Biennial Australia and New Zealand Falls Prevention Conference (ANZFP) wrapped up yesterday at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart.

Approximately 400 professionals working in the fields of ageing research, education, service provision and policy in Australia, New Zealand and overseas, came together to present and discuss the latest research and clinical findings, policy, practice and education innovations relating to the falls risk factors and falls prevention strategies.

The three-day event saw an excellent response in terms of registrations and the conference dinner had the biggest attendance in the event’s history. Official reports coming from the waterfront are that Hobart has hosted the ‘best conference ever!’

Business Events Tasmania CEO Marnie Craig said ‘with Tasmania’s population aging faster than the Australian average, this conference is of particular significance to our State.’

‘Events such as this that align with Tasmania’s key industry sectors bring so much value to the State, they attract global talent, facilitate the transfer of knowledge, foster innovation and nurture research collaboration and promote cultural exchange for Tasmania. To see strong delegate numbers at this conference doesn’t surprise me’ said Craig.

Business Events Tasmania supported conference Chair Michele Callisaya, Senior Research Fellow at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research to bring the conference to Tasmania.

Michele is head of the Brain Ageing group in the Cardiometabolic Research Theme at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research.  She is a mid-career researcher and senior physiotherapist. She currently holds a NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Fellowship (2017-2021).

Menzies Institute for Medical Research previously found that around 40% of older Tasmanians fall in a one-year period.  This is a major issue as falls can lead to serious injury such as hip fracture.  Falls are multi-factorial, but two of the most common risk factors for falls are declining balance and mobility.  One of the important messages from this conference is that exercise, particularly balance and functional exercises, can reduce falls. If anyone is concerned about falls they should see their GP or a physiotherapist.

The ANZFPS was formed in 2006 to promote the multidisciplinary study and implementation of falls prevention in older people.