A fall is simply an endpoint of the complex interplay between physiological and pathological ageing and the environments we negotiate on a daily basis. The brain is critical to remaining upright; a failing brain is a major contributor to falls in older people. There can be myriad contributing factors, including drugs affecting cognitive function, gait and balance; disease processes such as Parkinson’s disease and stroke; and syndromes such as dementia and delirium.
The Falls and Injury Prevention Group was set up in 2011 and has three specific domains of activity:
• Fall-related injury epidemiology and changes in patterns of injury with time
• Applied research and evaluation of models of care designed to reduce or prevent falls and fall-related injury in older people
• Disease/syndrome specific research looking at the relationship between pathology and fall-related injury in older people
Click here to access Assoc Prof Jacqueline Close's research papers:
Assoc Prof Jacqui Close trained as a geriatrician at King’s College Hospital in London. During this period she started her research in falls and fall-related injury in older people, including her thesis which demonstrated the value of assessment and intervention for older fallers attending the Emergency Department. She moved to Sydney in 2006 and now combines a clinical and academic career at the Prince of Wales Hospital and Neuroscience Research Australia.
Her primary research area is falls in people with cognitive impairment and dementia and particularly the relationship of cognitive function to postural stability, falls and fractures. She also has an epidemiological interest in the impact of falls and injury to health service use and the way in which health services are designed to prevent and manage falls and injury in older people.
Over the past 15 years she has combined research with clinical practice and provided leadership in relation to ensuring that research is translated into policy, guidelines and everyday practice.