A new falls prevention booklet has been launched – drawn up by the very people it seeks to help.
Falls are a major cause of hospital admission in older adults in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) and “The Home Falls Checklist” has been developed and piloted together by a group of service users together with health professionals and staff from Glasgow City Council’s Social Services Department.
The checklist includes hazards to look out for, such as worn and loose carpets, trailing wires and cables, and lack of handrails
Meanwhile a separate booklet, “Reduce Your Risk of a Fall”, which will be distributed initially throughout Glasgow Community Health and (Social) Care Partnerships, gives information about the local handyperson service which is free of charge to anyone aged 65 and over.
This service provides practical help with tasks which may increase someone’s risk of a fall but don’t require the skills of a tradesman.
This booklet also includes key health, council and housing association contact information.
Lesley Nish, NHSGGC’s Health Improvement Senior for Accident Prevention, said:
“The older people involved gave up their valuable time to shape these resources to make them user friendly and relevant to help prevent falls at home.
“Not only did they pilot the checklist in their own homes, with their friends and neighbours they also helped with the development and design of these resources.
“As well as developing the checklist they also specifically highlighted the need for additional information to practically help people to remove or remedy any hazards. These resources have been developed to help stop people having a fall in the first place.
”If anyone would like more information about the booklets they can contact 0141 201 4876.”
It is known that the impact of a fall can be very profound for an older person. They can lose self-confidence, be left with a disability or have a fatal accident.
National statistics show that most falls occur in and around the home when older people carry out day to day activities. One third of the over 65’s and half of over 80’s fall at least once per year, with 20% requiring hospital treatment.
Bailie Ellen Hurcombe, Chair of Glasgow's Senior Issues Working Group, said: "The most common place for falls is in and around the home and they can have such a debilitating effect on older people. Not only do they cause injury, but people also fear a reoccurence and this affects their quality of life.
"Preventing falls in the first place is clearly what we must strive to do and the Home Falls checklist will provide really valuable assistance. It is packed with sensible suggestions that will help with identifying hazards in the homes. It is also full of good advice on how to eliminate these hazards and where older people can go if they require support to do this."
For more information contact either NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]