Nepean Hospital in Australia is offering a new balance retraining technique to prevent falls in older people and reduce the costs to the hospital system from fall injuries.

The Nepean Falls and Fracture Clinic includes an outpatient clinic and an in-hospital gait assessment unit for people with osteoporosis and a history of falls or a balancing problem.

The clinic has reported that within a year of using this balance retraining system their clients have reduced their risk of falling by 62%.

The gait assessment unit analyses patients’ balance and gait using state-of-the-art equipment which includes a Balance Rehabilitation Unit, the most advanced system for the assessment of gait in elderly patients, the government said.

The lifetime treatment costs for falls and fractures in Australia in the 2006–07 financial year was AU$579.3m, which is two and a half times more than 1998–99 figures of AU$224.7m, according to a recent study.