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With 1 in 3 older people falling every year, new handbook aims to cut numbers

NEW handbooks, which provide advice and information to help older people avoid falls, are being given to patients on non-emergency transport vehicles across Wales.

The ‘Get Up and Go’ booklets are being distributed thanks to a partnership between Public Health Wales, the Welsh Ambulance Service and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

The work is part of the ‘Steady On, Stay SAFE’ national falls prevention campaign for older people.
 
One in three people aged over 65 fall every year, and over half of people aged over 80 fall at least once a year. 

Most can be prevented without people having to stay indoors or cut back on their normal activities.

Ann Potter, 83, from Swansea, received the booklet after dislocating her hip. 

She said: “I was very pleased to be given the booklet, and wish that I had seen it prior to my fall.

“It has been a great help to build up my strength and has made me more aware of the importance of keeping active.

“I follow the exercises in the booklet, and have made little changes like parking further away from the supermarket, and gardening.”
 
Gemma Cox, Senior Public Health Practitioner at Public Health Wales, said: "As we grow older, an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever to your health. 

“No matter your age or physical condition, it’s never too late to get your body moving.
 
“Improving balance, strengthening our muscles and avoiding spending long periods of time sitting down are just some of the ways that we can prevent falling.

“The tips in this booklet aim to help you stay active, which has lots of other benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing.”
 
Wendy Herbert, Assistant Director of Quality, Safety and Patient Experience at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust has a large role to play to make every contact count for people who are falling at home or in the community.

“These booklets are helping people to avoid falling by looking at helpful tips on how they can be prevented.  

“A range of initiatives are in place across Wales to attend uninjured fallers and make a timely assessment. 

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work in partnership with Public Health Wales on this project.”
 
Philippa Ford, Public Affairs and Policy Manager for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in Wales, said: “The profession is absolutely delighted that the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust is now using our ‘Get Up and Go’ booklet. 

“Developed in partnership between Saga and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, it covers a range of falls prevention aspects and includes exercises for strength and balance and guidance on getting up from a fall. 

“This is a great contribution to the ‘Steady On Stay Safe’ campaign.”
 
The ‘Get Up and Go’ booklet is also available to download, or in hard copy from Public Health Wales at hplibrary@wales.nhs.uk
 
More information about the ‘Steady On, Stay SAFE’ campaign is available online.
 
Support the campaign on Twitter by using the hashtag #steadyonstaysafe
 


19 Jun 2017 16:26




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