Older people, relatives and carers across West Leicestershire are being offered advice on taking positive action to stay steady on their feet and prevent falls during National Falls Awareness Week (16-23 June).
Around a third of over 65s and half of those over 80 will fall every year. Falls can not only cause painful injuries but can lead to anxiety, restricting a person’s independence and quality of life. Around one per cent of falls result in a fractured hip for people aged 65 or over, which can be a life changing consequence, as half will never return to their full level of mobility.
That’s why West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting this year’s campaign and encouraging people to keep active to reduce the risk of falling. Regular exercise improves toe and ankle strength and walking, gardening, dancing and aerobic classes are all good ways to keep fit and healthy.
Dr Andy Ker, a GP and clinical lead speaking on behalf of the CCG, said: “Working collaboratively, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland CCGs have developed a falls support tool and guidance to help care homes deal with the issue of falls. On average, the risk of falling does increase as people get older, and can be a consequence of symptoms of other conditions including weaker bones and muscles, poor vision and reduced mobility. But falling is not an inevitable result of ageing and people can take positive action.
“Strength and balance are two of the biggest factors in reducing the risk of falls. That’s why it’s important to be active daily and try to do at least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity activity a week. There are also specific exercises people can do to strengthen their muscles and bones, and improve balance and co-ordination. With the improvement in the weather now is a good time to get outdoors and be more active.”
For more information on staying steady on your feet download the Choose Better Guide to Keeping Healthy and Happy in Later Life at www.choosebetter.org.uk To find out what’s happening for Falls Awareness Week in your local area, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/falls or call 0800 169 6565.