The Royal Alexandra Hospital’s (RAH) award-winning hip fracture team is hosting its annual Falls Awareness Week from Monday, 28 October.
The RAH’s Falls and Orthogeriatric service, regarded as the best performing in Scotland, won the ‘Golden Hip’ award in 2016, 2018 and 2019 after recording the best overall standard of care in a Scottish hospital for hip fractures.
Now, they are holding their latest awareness week to provide information on how people can reduce their chance of falling.
An information stall will run between Monday and Friday at the main entrance between 11am-2pm and will have a number of dedicated themes each day.
Monday will focus on bone health with the RAH fracture liaison service and representatives from the Royal Osteoporosis Society. Tuesday will concentrate on foot health and suitable footwear with the community podiatry team. On Wednesday a representative from the charity Visibility will look at eye health.
Bladder and bowel health will be discussed on Thursday by SPHERE, the community bowel and bladder health specialists and Professor Jo Booth from Glasgow Caledonian University, and the RAH’s pharmacy team will be on hand to discuss medicines.
The activities will conclude on Friday with the Balance Challenge and telecare with the RAH’s physiotherapy and occupational therapy teams.
There will also be some activities which are free to attend but must be booked in advance.
On Wednesday, Professor Dawn Skelton from Glasgow Caledonian University, will be holding a ‘Sit Less, Move More: advice on reducing your risk of falling’ session between 10-11am. She will follow that with functional fitness MOTs between 11am-2pm.
Body Boosting Bingo with Age Scotland will run on Thursday between 2-245 pm and a keep fit and active exercise class will run for an hour from 11am on Friday with the RAH physio team.
Dr Alasdair Macrae, care of the elderly consultant, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “Our staff really got behind this initiative last year. I’m delighted so many of them are so keen to speak to people or provide exercise sessions throughout the week.
“We have been sharing our learning with colleagues across the country and this has led to opportunities to share this learning and best practice internationally.
“Health care professionals are visiting us to learn how we have developed the service to ensure patients receive the best possible standards of care while helping them retain their independence.
“We also do a lot of work with patients to pass on our knowledge while also getting an insight into issues which patients want to discuss or share their experiences with us.
“It’s important to emphasise that the stalls and sessions are all about educating people – including those who have not already fallen - about what they can do to reduce their risk of falling in the future. The stall and the sessions are all absolutely free so I’d encourage as many people as possible to come along and speak with us or join some of the sessions.
“We’re holding this latest Falls Awareness Week because falls are, unfortunately, common. Around 33% of people over the age of 65 fall each year and this rises to approximately 50% of people aged 80 or older.
“It’s important that people realise that falls are not an inevitable part of ageing. Falling can lead to life-changing injuries such as broken bones which may require a major operation.
“However, a thorough, multi-disciplinary risk assessment done in a Falls Assessment Clinic can often find potential causes of falls which can be treated, reducing the risk of people falling in the future.
“These clinics can also help people reduce their risk of falling by educating them about their health conditions, how these are making them prone to having a fall and how they can adapt to decrease the risk of falling.”
Earlier this year, the team hosted a week-long visit from a Swedish delegation in order to pass on their best practices while also getting an insight into other ways of working.
The Swedish team don’t have a dedicated Orthogeriatric service to provide older people with fractures comprehensive, multi-disciplinary care and found it very interesting to see how this works at the RAH.
They also thought that the link between the Community Falls Prevention Team and the RAH Falls assessment service was excellent.
Places can be booked for the free activity sessions by calling 314 6876 or emailing [email protected]