Falls Prevention for Older People

Staying Active at Home - falls prevention exercises for older people isolating at home

Stay Active at Home - Sitting

Stay Active at Home - Standing

A report by the Department of Health in 2009 estimated the 35% of over 65s and 45% of the over 80s will fall each year, and that 60% of people living in residential homes will fall repeatedly. In addition, one in two women and one in five men over 50 will experience an osteoporotic fracture.

However, falling is not an inevitable part of ageing – the good news is that up to 30% of falls are preventable. There is good evidence that action on known risk factors can reduce the risk of falling and subsequent injury.

Prevention

The are ways you can reduce your risk of having a fall, including making simple changes to your home and doing exercises to improve your strength and balance.

If you’ve fallen in the past, making changes to reduce your chances of a fall can also overcome any fear of falling.

All our healthcare professionals take falls in our older patients very seriously because of the significant impact on their health.

Any member of our clinical team would be happy to discuss concerns over falls with any of our patients to help reduce the impact on their health and wellbeing. The clinician will carry out an assessment of your risk of future falls, provide you with falls prevention advice and refer you to local services available to you that will help to support you reducing the risk of you having a fall.

Discover some great falls prevention tips at saga.co.uk/falls


 
Avoiding falls at home

Tips for preventing falls in the home include:

  • Immediately mopping up spillages
  • Removing clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
  • Using non-slip mats and rugs
  • Using high wattage light bulbs in lamps and torches, so you can see clearly
  • Organising your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum, and to avoid bumping into things
  • Getting help to do things that you’re unable to do safely on your own
  • Not walking on slippery floors in socks or tights
  • Not wearing loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
  • Wearing well-fitted shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
  • Taking care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly and seeing a GP or chiropodist about any foot problems

Need some help assessing your home for hazards?
Contact C
are & Repair - The Housing Advice Service for Older People

Care & Repair offers a free advice service for our older patients, tailored to their individual needs.

They support older patients to repair, adapt, and maintain their homes, enabling them to live as independently as possible with increased safety, warmth and comfort.

They will help with work ranging from small items such as the installation of handrails, to major jobs such as bathroom adaptions or replacing a roof.

Please read their Winter Newsletter which includes a progress report and a testimonial from a patient Winter Newsletter 2014.pdf If you want to know more information about the service or would like to arrange a home visit from Care & Repair, please telephone 029 2047 3337.

Here's a list of other useful contacts for our patients over 65 - Useful Contact Details August 2015



Strength and balance training/excercise

Doing regular strength exercises and balance exercises can improve your strength and balance, and reduce your risk of having a fall. This can take the form of simple activities such as walking and dancing, or specialist training programmes.

Elderfit Strength and Balance Sessions

These sociable sessions are designed to help improve your balance, get stronger, become more supple and make new friends across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

The class situated in the closest location for our patients is at Maes y Coed Community Centre, Jubilee Gardens, Heath, held on Tuesdays 14.00 - 15.00. There is a weekly charge for the classes of £3.50.

Full list of classes across Cardiff: http://www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales.nhs.uk/falls-prevention

EXTEND Classes in the North Cardiff Area - these are for gentle exercise

Heath – Contact: Marie Lewis 029 2076 6374 Heathmead Centre, Roath – Tues 14.30 – 15.30

Llanishen – Contact Margaret Billing 029 2075 7302 Llanishen Baptist Church, Llanishen – Tues 14.00 – 15.00

Rhiwbina – Contact Chris Moore 029 2079 9869 Rhiwbina Memorial Hall, Rhiwbina – Wed 10 – 13.00 and Thurs 14.00 – 15.00

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/keeping-fit/falls-prevention/exercise-regularly/

Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking is one of Europe's fastest growing forms of physical activity and is particularly suited for people aged 50+.  You walk using a pair of lightweight, specially designed poles that provide great support while also increasing the effectiveness of the exercise.

For more information please contact the Nordic Walking team on (029) 2043 155 or email: nordicwalking@agecymru.org.uk

To learm more please visit the Age Cymru website: www.agecymru.org.uk/nordicwalking

 

DO YOU NEED HELP GETTING TO AND FROM CLASSES?

For any of our patients who live alone, have no family living nearby or access to suitable transport, North Cardiff Good Neighbours have volunteers who can offer transport to any strength and balance exercise classes, and they will escort you into and out of the class as well.  NCGN cover the areas of Llanishen, Lisvane, Thornhill, Heath, Lakeside, Roath Park and West Cyncoed. 

To contact them for further information call 029 2075 0751 between 9am and 11am, or for a referral form visit their website www.goodneighboursinnorthcardiff.co.uk



Medication Review

If you’re taking long term medication, your GP should review your medications with you at least once a year to make sure they’re still right for you. It is particularly important you are reviewed if you’re taking four or more medicines a day.

Your GP may recommend alternative medication or lower doses if they feel the side effects increase your chances of having a fall. In some cases, it may be possible for the medication to be stopped.



Sight tests

You should make an appointment to have a sight test with your local optician.

Not all visual problems can be treated. However, some problems, such as cataracts can be surgically removed using cataract surgery.



Home hazard assessment

You can request a home hazard assessment if you are concerned that you may be at risk of having a fall – get in touch with Care & Repair on 0300 111 3333.

As well as identifying potential hazards, the aim of home hazard assessment is to explore how a person’s actual use of the environment affects their risk of falling.

Fitting a personal alarm may also be recommended, so that you can signal for help in the event of a fall.



Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can lead to a loss of co-ordination and exaggerate the effects of some medicines. This can significantly increase the risk of a fall, particularly in older people.

Avoiding alcohol or reducing the amount you drink can reduce your risk of having a fall. Excessive drinking can also contribute to the development of osteoporosis.

Age Cymru Falls Prevention Guide

References NHS Choices website 'Falls Prevention' and Public Health Wales website 'Falls Prevention'



 
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