It’s a common misconception that falling is seen as an inevitable part of ageing, something to accept, something to worry about. Many are embarrassed when they’ve had a fall and are reluctant to talk about it but talking about falls can help to dispel these myths and provide you with answers, solutions, freedom and independence. Every year we use Falls Awareness Week as an opportunity to encourage conversations around falls, promote collaboration between service providers so that we can reach more people who need our vital services and highlight the work that we and our partners do across Wales to help and support our older community members.
We want to contribute to a society who values and respects our older generations and their contribution to our communities.
We are working with Age Cymru and Care & Repair Cymru to get people talking about falls and raise awareness of older people so they can play an active role in keeping themselves safe.
We want to encourage conversations about falls and raise awareness so that we can all do our bit to prevent them from happening.
We want you to know that you can get help and support from Age Connects whether before or after a fall. You don’t need to wait until you’ve had a fall to access any of our or our partner’s services and you if you have had a fall we want you to know that we can help you regain your confidence and independence.
The impact of falls
Public Health Wales have recently published some startling statistics about the impact of falls.
In 2020 they expect;
- 132,000 older people will fall more than once in their home
- 7,750 older people will be hospitalised as the result of a fall
- 2,800 older people will have a hip fracture as the result of a fall
- 1,400 older people will lose their independence after falling
- 700 older people will die following a fall
Every year we deliver services that are designed to support older people. Age Connects has 6 partners across Wales working to keep older people connected, independent and in good health. In 2019 Age Connects toenail clipping service helped 13,309 older people stay steady and safe on their feet. Services like this delivered in both a community setting and at clients home play a vital role in reducing the number of falls. Our outreach workers completed Falls Hazards Assessments in our clients’ homes.
We also provide exercise classes to promote health and wellbeing, strength and balance, information and advice and make referrals to our local partner organisations such as Age Cymru and Care & Repair.
What can you do to help?
If you want to make a difference during this Falls Awareness campaign start by joining in the conversation where you see the #FallsAwareness2020.
Here are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risk of having a fall
- Make sure your slippers fit well and have non-slip soles. Avoid backless slippers
- Clear away any clutter
- Make sure all rooms and passages are well lit
- Take part in regular exercise to improve your strength and balance
- Get your eyesight checked out regularly
- Know where your pets are before getting up to avoid tripping
- Install grabs bars and handrails by steps and in the bathroom
- Avoid walking on slippery surfaces in socks or tights
- Get a medication review if its been more than 12 months since your last one
- Get your blood pressure checked regularly
There are lots of things that you can do to reduce your chances of having a slip, trip or fall. If you would like to know more about staying safe and independent at home you can speak to us or your local GP who will be happy to give you advice.