This week is National Falls Prevention and Awareness Week! It is run in the UK by Age UK
This week we are focussing on promoting a great video series on reducing falls in care settings. This advice is great advice advice for patients in any health setting:
Some quick facts on falling:
- 30% of over-65s and 50% of those over 80 will fall each year.
- Falls cause people pain, injuries, fractures, loss of confidence, they rob people of their mobility and they frequently result in death.
- 9% of older people who fall become too afraid to leave their homes in case they fall again.
- For women, the risk of sustaining a hip fracture is greater than breast cancer. 30% of those with a hip fracture will die within a year.
Salkeld et al in the BMJ http://www.bmj.com/content/320/7231/341.full found that:
80% of women would rather be dead than experience loss of independence and quality of life that results from hip fracture and admission to a nursing home.
So falls prevention and reducing osteoporosis risk is a key action that ALL health and fitness professionals should focus on. There are many simple things that older people and their carers can do to help prevent a fall: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/preventing-falls/ and regular exercise is essential for all patients:
Weight bearing exercise is one of the best ways to maintain healthy bones and reduce the risk of falls:
- Regular strength and balance exercises in addition to AT LEAST 150 minutes of moderate intensity (or 30 minutes on five days a week, or 10 minutes throughout the day) exercise help keep bones healthy and improve overall health.
- Exercises such as walking, climbing stairs, tai chi, dancing or any physical activity or sport that you enjoy and helps to support the weight of your own body are fun, social and healthy ways to stay active and fall free!
Exercise to prevent falls should always be safe, effective, fun and social! Please check out our store page for our patient support products: http://www.exercise-works.org/store/. Ask your doctor or health care provider to support you to exercise regularly. It's the best in evidence based medicine! Help every patient to access quality exercise advice against the risk of falls, from every health professional they see. Please support our @exerciseworks Twitter #25by25 campaign to help 25 people by 2025 access quality exercise advice and support to improve their health. Don't let your loved one suffer the health effects of a fall. Help them get strong and able to maintain their balance when challenged!
Ann Gates BPharm(Hons) MRPharmS
Personal Trainer, NCDs (Non Communicable Disease) Specialist, BACPR Exercise Instructor .... and on a mission to get EVERY health professional giving excellence in exercise advice and support!