New Campaign Launched To Prevent Falls By Elderly

Preventing falls is to be the focus of a new health service campaign being launched in Scilly and Cornwall.

Falls are the leading cause of injury and deaths among people aged 65 and over and an older person has a 50% probability of having seriously impaired mobility and a 10% probability of dying after tripping.

National figures show that up to 50% of people aged over 65 years will fall each year.

St Mary’s ambulance boss, Tony Smith, says they have around 60 calls dealing with falls by islanders each winter.

He says the majority of incidents occur when elderly residents lose balance on Zimmer frames or on crutches.

Most are non-injury but crew can be required to get infirm residents back on their feet.

The Primary Care trust is now working with Age Concern Cornwall, who manage our Buzza Bus, and our GPs by introducing the Exercise Continuum.

That’s a programme of physical activity for older people, including those with chronic long term conditions, who are at risk of a fall.

A pilot last year, run through Age Concern, saw improvements in mobility and balance for 80% of participants.

The local NHS is also offering some advise if you fall – you should keep warm by covering up with anything in reach, like a rug, blanket or towel and move the parts of your body that don’t hurt, to relieve pressure.

In preventing a fall, trip hazards such as loose rugs, frayed carpets and trailing wires should be removed. And to avoid dizziness they advise that you get out of bed or up from a chair in slow stages and wait a moment before moving away.