From a simple trip to a catastrophic fall, the impact of falling can have disastrous consequences. Learn about preventative actions to prevent falls
We all know someone that has been affected by a fall; is at risk of a fall; or has a fear of falling; whether it be a loved one, a friend, a patient or ourselves.
Falls are known to be one of the biggest financial costs to the NHS and wider health and social care service. The impact can be felt in hospital settings through high numbers of occupied bed days and increasing numbers of hip fractures. The community is also affected, through an ever-increasing demand on care package requests and rehabilitation services.
‘Falls Awareness Week’ is a national health campaign that aims to increase awareness around Fall Health and Injury Prevention. Research has shown that awareness raising amongst patients and those who care for them can help to reduce falls by up to 60%.
Over the last four years, East Lothian’s falls rate has increased. It currently sits at 23.4 falls per 1,000 people aged over 65; which is above the Scottish falls average. This may be explained, in part, by the county’s population increase over the last 22 years, with a 46% increase in its population aged 45 and above, and 20% of its population now aged 65 and over.
Between Tuesday 20 to Friday 23 September East Lothian Rehabilitation Service, part of the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership is encouraging all ages to get involved in Falls Awareness Week and learn some simple steps help prevent falls from happening, with the aim of making day-to-day life easier and allow individuals to stay independent for longer.
Cara Blair, Falls Lead for East Lothian comments, “Having a fall is something that most people think they will only have to deal with in later life. However, falls can happen at any age, and can have a lasting impact on someone’s function, confidence and independence. Whether you yourself have a fear of falling, or you are worried about a loved one having a fall; everyone could benefit from knowing simple steps to help prevent or manage a fall, and ultimately keep people steady on their feet.”
Get involved in Falls Awareness Week.
The East Lothian Rehabilitation Service is hosting a Technology Show & Tell Session at East Lothian Community Hospital on Tuesday 20 September between 1:30pm – 3:30pm. The Telecare and Smart Tech teams will be presenting some smart technology and telecare devices that can be used around the home to prevent a fall, or to summon help.
Carers of East Lothian Information Event
On Thursday 22 September a dedicated information event is available for Carers, which will look at how to prevent a fall. The session will cover topics ranging from footwear to medication to home and household hazards. It will also include the role of exercise and technology within falls prevention. A key feature will look at how to manage a fall and plan for the future “what ifs.” To register please visit https://FallsAwarenessSession.eventbrite.com
Day Centre Visits
Over the course of the week, Day Centres across the county will welcome a visit from East Lothian’s Falls lead. Cara Blair will be talking about ways individuals can reduce the risk of falling, by looking after their health, and sharing some practical hints and tips about what can be done to make homes safer environments.
View Information Online
The East Lothian Rehabilitation Service has a dedicated website: abetterlife.eastlothian.gov.uk/falls which provides information, advice and support to manage your health and wellbeing. This includes an interactive smart home section to assist you identify different solutions that may help you around the house, as well as an interactive smart body, providing guidance and self-help advice to help people active and independent as possible.
You can also pick up useful advice and support across social media by falling the #ELFallsAwareness, which will include information about maintaining your general health, moving more, taking proactive steps around the home to reduce the risk of falls, and what to do if you have a fall.
For further information visit: abetterlife.eastlothian.gov.uk