Spring into action on falls this April

Derbyshire County Council and partners are launching a campaign aimed at preventing older people from serious injury from falls.

The Reduce Hospital Footfall campaign is aimed at anyone who works with, or comes into contact with, older people.  One in three people aged 65 and over will experience a fall each year and one in 20 falls result in serious injuries.

However falling is not an inevitable part of getting older and the council is offering help and advice on how to help prevent it.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said: “Preventable falls can cause people serious injuries and, in many cases, hospital admissions.  We want to make sure that everyone is aware of the risk factors that can lead to unnecessary falls as well as promoting the Ask. Assess. Act message to anyone who comes in contact with older people.

“So we’re working with organisations including Age UK, the NHS and others to ask workers and volunteers, who come into regular contact with older people, to spring into action to help reduce falls and injuries.”

Find out more about how to help prevent trips and falls at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/falls

Some of the main risk factors for falls, and what to do about them, include:

1: Home hazards such as clutter, trailing cables, loose rugs, poor lighting
Solution: Make safe where possible or contact the Handy Van service on 01629 533190 for help

2: Badly fitting footwearSolution: Advise to replace with new,
properly fitting footwear

3: Poor eyesight.Solution: Advise to see opti
cian for eye test

4: Worried about getting help after a fall
Solution: Advise to get a falls alarms, contact Call Derbyshire on 01629 533190

5: Fear of falling
Solution: Encourage to join a Strictly No Falling course, contact Age UK on 01773 766922.

Health and social care staff, volunteers and carers are also being encouraged to follow the Ask. Assess. Act. procedure:

Ask older people about how they are feeling, talk about ageing well and discuss how they can be supported to improve their health in order to reduce falls and stay independent.

Assess the older person’s risk of falling by asking them (or their family / carers) whether they:

  • Have had two or more falls in the last 12 months
  • Had a single fall and needed medical attention in the last 12 months
  • Are anxious or worried about falling and has one or more of the fallowing risk factors:
    • Appears unsteady
    • Finds it difficult to get out of a chair
    • Takes four or more prescription medicines

Act on any immediate risk such as clutter, loose rugs or poorly fitting footwear and advise the older person to contact their GP to discuss their risk of falling.