Falling over at home is the number one cause for accidental death among older people in Scotland, and the number one cause of unplanned hospital admissions.
However, since an initiative by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was rolled out across Clyde in June last year to change the way patients are treated after a fall, there have been 531 GP referrals to the service.
Through the ‘Falls Prevention Programme’ patients are offered a full range of support services, from occupational therapy, physiotherapy and exercises classes to money advice, psychology and even a handy person service.
Patients gain confidence in their mobility by attending exercise classes, and the healthcare team quickly assess if they need some additional aid at home.
This can include the installation of a fall alarm, designed to be activated quickly if there is a fall at home, handrails and some bathroom aids.
Margaret Anderson from the Community Falls Prevention Programme said: “We want to raise awareness that whilst falls are common in older people they are not are not normal part of ageing and can often be remedied. Our service is available to support, promote confidence and independence and hopefully prevent a hospital admission”.
“The aim of the programme is to prevent people having further falls by providing a comprehensive falls screening service, health education, exercise, rehabilitation and onward referral.
”We work with other health staff on the frontline to identify any patient who may benefit from the programme and do all we can to make sure they get the support they need.”
The Community Falls Prevention Programme can be contacted on 0141 427 8311
The service is available for:
§ 65 years and over
§ One fall in past 12 months
§ Lives in own home not a Care Home
§ Lives in the NHSGGC catchment area
Notes to Editors
Many falls can be prevented and the following simple tips can help avoid accidental falls.
Keep Active - keeping physically active by walking, swimming or cycling will help build stamina.
Eat Healthily - eat a good varied diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to keep energy levels high and bones and muscles strong.
Keep Homes as Safe as Possible - arrange electrical appliances close to the socket rather than having a long flex. Make sure carpets and rugs and securely fixed. Be tidy store items where they can be easily reached and make sure halls and stairs are brightly lit.
Be Aware of Any Health Changes - have regular eye tests and wear glasses if they needed. Regular visits to a podiatrist will deal with any problems with feet. Wear sensible footwear preferable non slip soles. Get ear infections checked quickly and do not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting a GP.
For further information contact NHS Greater and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.