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Information for Health Practitioners

We want to work with health care providers to encourage older South Australians to reap the rewards of strength training by participating in COTA SA’s Strength for Life program.

Two older people using exercise equipment in a gym

We want to work with health care providers to encourage South Australians aged 50+ to reap the rewards of strength training by participating in COTA SA’s Strength for Life program.

This information assists medical and physiotherapy practitioners to understand the Strength for Life program and directly access relevant referral forms.

Supervised strength training has been shown to improve balance and walking endurance in older people. Strength training can also be effective in alleviating the impact of chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease, chronic kidney disease and depression.

COTA SA's Strength for Life program was developed in 2004 to enable people aged 50+ (40+ for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islanders and people from refugee backgrounds) to access regulated, supervised individualised progressive strength training.

The Strength for Life program is now delivered at more than 100 locations across South Australia.

Types of programs

Strength for Life is offered in Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories:

Tier 1 — Delivered by exercise physiologists or physiotherapists with potential to involve these programs as part of enhanced primary care packages.

Tier 2 — Delivered by fitness instructors with referrals to these programs for ongoing management of chronic conditions such as diabetes or arthritis, or to promote general health and wellbeing.

Safety first

The safety of people enjoying Strength for Life sessions is our main priority and underpins our entire process and program delivery, starting with an extensive pre-exercise screening process and facilitating referrals directly from health and medical professionals.

This process has been developed in conjunction with the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing (CPAA), Hampstead Centre and ensures both efficient entry into the program and effective screening of ‘at risk' clients.

Accredited instructors

The majority of Strength for Life instructors have completed training in the Better Balance Falls Prevention module, so it is appropriate to refer clients who are at risk of falls or have had one or more falls, to either category. The Strength for Life partners are included in the Statewide Falls Prevention Directory as an ongoing option to encourage continuation of exercise following therapy or rehabilitation.

Referring your patient

To enrol in a Strength for Life program, your patient must complete the forms relevant to the appropriate tier of program they would like to participate in.

  • Enrolment Form — patient to complete
  • Pre-activity screening questionnaire — patient to complete
  • Medical referral form (Tier 1 or 2) — referring health practitioner must complete if your patient answers yes to any questions on the pre-activity screening questionnaire or if you would like to communicate additional information about your patient to instructors
  • Allied health referral form — referring health practitioner must complete only if your patient has had recent treatment with an allied health practitioner.

Please visit the Strength for Life page to access all Tier 1 and Tier 2 forms.

Let’s improve health and wellbeing together

We want to establish networks with health care providers and community stakeholders to encourage older South Australians to participate in and reap the rewards of strength training.

If you would like to discuss how we can best work together please contact:

Strength for Life Program Team, COTA SA
08 8232 0422
sfl@cotasa.org.au

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