More than 30,000 falls prevention guides have been distributed to healthcare practices across east Surrey to support the older population who have either had a fall or are at risk of falling.
The national lockdowns resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic have seen many people cooped up at home for long periods, which may have led to muscle weakness and sometimes a reduced sense of balance, increasing the risk of falls.
On Wednesday 31 March, First Community Health and Care along with GP Federation partners, Alliance for Better Care, distributed tens of thousands of the booklets to healthcare providers across east Surrey.
The ‘Get up and Go’ booklet, produced by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Saga and Public Health England, provides advice on improving balance and muscle strength to reduce the chances of injury, and also tackles common myths about falling.
Most falls do not result in serious injury; but there's always a risk that a fall could lead to broken bones, and it can cause the person to lose confidence, become withdrawn, and feel as if they have lost their independence.
To reach as many patients as possible, deliveries were made to a number of local healthcare practices including the Alliance for Better Care and Dorking Healthcare Covid-19 vaccination sites. GP surgeries also received copies of the booklet to be handed to patients at risk during their appointment or available for them to take away at their own convenience. Over the coming weeks, First Community will also be distributing the booklets to vulnerable housebound patients.
A recent survey conducted by Saga showed that people aged 50+ underestimated their risk of falling; 7% of those questioned said they thought they were at risk of taking a tumble, yet 13% in this age group did.
Saga continued to say that on average, falls injuries cost the NHS £2.3billion a year and around 30% of people aged over 65 will fall during the next year.
Janet Clark, Service Manager for Long Term Condition Support Services, said: “Falling over is something we tend to associate with the very old, yet anyone over 50 is much more likely to have a fall than they probably think.
“Here at First Community we have a specialist Falls Prevention Service providing support and care for anyone at risk of falling or those who have had a fall. The team help patients maximise their independence and minimise any risks of falling in the future.
“I’m really proud to be part of the distribution of these booklets across east Surrey to ensure that patients at risk are provided with the advice and guidance they need to help prevent any injury.”
The ‘Get up and Go’ booklet can be downloaded here and visit our webpage for information about our Falls Prevention Service.
(pictured left to right: Janet Clark, Service Manager Long Term Condition Support Services and Caroline Upton, Network Development Manager, Alliance for Better Care)