To mark the beginning of Falls Prevention Awareness Week 2023, a seminar was held in Armagh for health professionals who come into contact with people at risk of falls.
The seminar which took place on Monday at The Palace was delivered by Council Age Friendly Co-ordinators, Southern Health & Social Care Trust (SHSCT) and Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), with a wide range of health care and key workers in attendance.
Pauline Herbison from RoSPA, delivered an excellent presentation which took a look at the ageing population and the challenge of sedentary behaviour.
She spoke about falls having a huge impact on people’s lives – from physical injuries and death, long-term health effects and disabilities to loss of mobility, loneliness, social isolation and loss of independence.
Pauline also advised about the Fall Fighter campaign which empowers people of all ages with the understanding of why falls happen, who they affect, and what they can do to prevent them.
To find out more about the Fall Fighter Campaign visit: https://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/falls-prevention/https://www.rospa.com/…/falls-prevention/fall-fighter
Meanhwile, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, in partnership with the Public Health Agency, are encouraging everyone to take measures to help reduce the risk of falls at home.
Falls are the single biggest cause of accidental injuries in the home and 80% of hospital admissions due to accidents among over 65s are as a result of a fall.
In Northern Ireland, 23% of people aged 55 and over reported having had a fall in or around their home in the last two years.
If you are over 65, you can request a free home safety assessment from the Council Home Safety Officer, who will help to identify factors that can lead to increased risk of falls, and what action can be taken to reduce this risk.
This action may be simple, small changes that can make all the difference, like these ideas below.
- Get up from your chair or bed slowly to avoid dizziness and use a walking aid if provided.
- Keep your stairs clutter free – don’t leave items lying on the stairs that could cause a trip or fall.
- Ensure your home is well lit, and always put lights on at night, especially when getting up during the night.
- Remove all loose and worn mats.
- Avoid trailing leads and wires.
- If you use slip-resistant mats in the bath or shower, ensure they are used appropriately. Remove them after use to air dry and clean the soap suds that can build up and cause a slip.
The Home Safety Officer can make referrals to other agencies to assist you, including NI Fire and Rescue Service who can fit free smoke alarms, the Housing Executive for housing issues and repairs, or an Occupational Therapist if at risk from falls.