Stay steady with National Falls Awareness Week
Falls and fractures in over-65s account for over four million hospital bed days in England each year. Falls Awareness Week (16th-22nd June) promote the services and interventions that can help reduce the risk of a fall.
Around a third of over-65s and half of those over 80 will fall every year. From 16th-22nd June Falls Awareness Week, run by Age UK, gives older people, relatives and carers the opportunity to find out more about the range of preventative measures available that can help reduce the risk of a fall, and encourages older people to get active in later life. This year’s theme is ‘falls and bone health’.
The risk of falls and fractures increases with age, due to factors including weaker bones and muscles, and reduced mobility. However, there are steps older people can take to help them stay healthy on their feet.
Age UK have put together some helpful top tips for staying steady:
- Exercise regularly: encourage your loved one to focus on activities that challenge their balance and strengthen their legs, like gardening, dancing, tai chi or special balance and stability classes
- Check eyes and hearing: regular sight tests and reporting ear pain or difficulties with hearing can identify problems that could affect balance and co-ordination. Eye tests are free for everyone over 60 and you should consult a GP if your loved one reports problems with their ears.
- Ask about medicines taken: certain medicines can make people feel faint or affect their balance. Let a GP or pharmacist know if your loved one ever feels like this, as they may want to change the dose or look at alternatives
- GP visits: if your loved one has had a fall or is worried about falling, then encourage them to tell their GP, even if they feel okay. There could be many reasons and, equally, many ways for them to feel confident again
- Vitamin D for vitality: vitamin D is essential for keeping bones strong, some foods such as oily fish or eggs provide vitamin D – but the best source is sunshine. Encourage your loved one to go outside every day during summer but ensure their skin doesn’t redden or burn. You can read more about staying safe this summer with our top tips here.
- Counting calcium: a balanced diet rich in calcium will also help to keep your loved one’s bones strong. You can find calcium in milk and dairy foods such as cheese and yoghurt, fortified soya products and canned fish
- Check for home hazards: make sure the home is hazard-free and well lit. Organise belongings so that your loved one is not at risk of tripping over any wires, clutter or loose or frayed carpets
- Look after feet: problems with feet, especially anything that causes pain, can affect balance. Be sure your loved one wears well-fitted shoes and slippers, and reports any foot problems to their GP or chiropodist
Our approach to preventing falls
Comfort Keeper’s Interactive Caregiving™ approach keeps your loved ones active, healthy and independent by maintaining the quality of life they are used to.
To help reduce the risk of falls, we work with our clients on their muscle tone, flexibility, balance, range of motion and mobility by planning physical activities to help keep them active. Safety is a priority for us – the home should be a place in which your loved ones are safe from accidents and injuries so we provide recommendations on how to make their home safer.
June Falls Awareness Week, run by Age UK, gives older people, relatives. We also look after our clients’ nutrition to make sure they are getting all the essential vitamins and minerals they need, including plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Not only will our Care Workers help clients with their shopping and cooking, they also share mealtimes with them to ensure a well-balanced diet.