Preventing falls in elderly 15,000 Solihull residents steps up a gear - The Solihull Observer

Preventing falls in elderly 15,000 Solihull residents steps up a gear

Solihull Editorial 29th Nov, 2018 Updated: 29th Nov, 2018   0

PREVENTING falls in the elderly in the borough is at the heart of a campaign launched by Solihull council.

The FreeFromFalls drive aims to give advice on how to keep safe, get up and information about classes people attend to increase strength and confidence.

The campaign, which was launched this week, is backed by Solihull council, Solihull Community Housing, Age UK Solihull, NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group and University Hospitals Birmingham.

It is believed around one third of people over the age of 65 and half of those over 85 have a fall every year.

In Solihull this could affect around 15,000 people over 65 including 3,350 over 85.

Silhililan Jenny Tubbs has taken part in a exercise class ran by Age UK Solihull following a fall.

The 72-year-old had been falling a lot over the past two years, mainly due to dizzy spells and loss of balance.

A stroke had also affected her mobility as well as leaving her feeling depressed and isolated.

Jenny contacted Age UK Solihull about the Postural Stability Exercise classes after reading about them in Solihull council’s Your Solihull magazine.

Jenny attended the 20-week course and started exercising at home in between classes.

Within weeks of joining, she was gaining confidence in the classes, she was starting to smile and have fun with her fellow class mates.

Jenny said: “These classes are a wonderful life saving service, which have made me more positive and able to do things more easily than before. I feel in a more stable place than I have been for years.”

Dr Zoe Wyrko, consultant geriatrician at University Hospitals Birmingham, said: “Falls can cause serious injuries and long term complications.

“However, a large number of falls are preventable and there are plenty of things people can do to reduce their risk of falling.

“During the FreeFromFalls campaign we are encouraging people to follow our top tips and download our leaflet or talk to older relatives or friends about what they can do to prevent falls.”

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Solihull council have issued the following advice:

  • Be safe at home. Six out of 10 falls happen in the home or garden. Be aware of trip hazards such as clutter, worn carpets and loose rugs, poor lighting, damaged driveways and loose paving.
  • Be Active. Regular exercise can improve balance, muscle strength, mobility and help maintain bone strength.
  • Tell someone if you fall. Even near misses, loss of balance and trips are important warning signs. Friends, family and your GP can provide help and support to make sure a fall doesn’t happen again.
  • Have regular health checks. Eyesight and hearing tests, medication reviews and foot care help ensure that people remain steady.

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