Most falls are not serious, but for elderly people who break bones, a fall often means loss of confidence and independence, as well as a hospital stay.
That’s why the focus of this year’s Falls Awareness Week (Monday 18 September – Sunday 24 September) is firmly on prevention – helping older people put awareness into action so they can stay steady and strong and take simple steps to prevent falls.
Anyone can have a fall and whilst falls are not an inevitable part of aging, people over 65 have the highest risk of falling and half of people over 80 have at least one fall a year.
Stephen Pugh from the Care Trust’s Falls Prevention team says: “It’s estimated* that in Bradford and Airedale around 25,500 older people have a fall each year – that’s over 19,000 in Bradford district and over 6,000 in Airedale – with almost 3,700 requiring hospital treatment as a result. We want to do all we can to ensure fewer people experience the distress, pain and injury which falls cause both for the person concerned and their family.”
To support vulnerable people at risk of falling, the Falls Prevention team has helpful information on the Trust’s website, including strength and balance exercises, a home safety checker and details on how to get a falls assessment. Events are also being held in early October so older people and their families can come along, ask questions and get advice.
Stephen Pugh commented: “So many different things can contribute to the risk of a fall, not just muscle weakness or poor balance, but poor eyesight, badly-fitting footwear, use of certain medicines, tripping over items in the home or outside, and some medical conditions.
“We’re looking forward to talking with anyone who has problems with walking or balance, is concerned about falling, or who knows someone at risk of falling. Just come along to any of the events for information and support.”
Joint events are being held involving the Falls Prevention team, the Care Trust’s Continence and Proactive Care teams and partner organisations such as Age UK, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, Dance for Life and the Royal Osteoporosis Society at:
- Grange Interlink Community Centre, Summerville Road, Bradford, BD7 1PX on Tuesday 3 October from 11.00am to 1.00pm
- Airedale Shopping Centre, Hannover Street, Keighley, BD21 3QQ, on Wednesday 4 October from 10.00am to 2.00pm.
The Falls Prevention team will also be giving a talk at the Good Neighbour Project at St Christopher’s Church, Holmewood, Bradford, BD4 9EJ on Wednesday 4 October at 1.00pm.
Find out more about the Falls Prevention team.