To mark Age UK‘s National Falls Awareness Week, which ran from 18-22 June 2012, the Barnsley Falls and Osteoporosis Service worked in partnership with local services to promote the theme ‘Boost Your Bones’.
The Falls and Osteoporosis Service in Barnsley is provided by the Trust at Mount Vernon Hospital. The service offers specialist assessment, treatment, DXA scanning, medication advice and training to patients in a community environment. It aims to prevent falls from occurring, where possible, by training staff in the use of tools and assessment to minimise the impact of a fall and to offer advice and appropriate managing techniques for those who have already fallen.
As part of Age UK’s National Falls Awareness Week the team held an event at the Priory Campus in Lundwood, Barnsley. Falls Awareness Week is an annual event organised by Age UK as an opportunity for older people, relatives and carers to find out more about falls and take part in local classes and services that can help prevent them.
Falls represent a serious problem for older people; they occur in around 30% of over 65s and 50% of those aged over 80 every year, often resulting in serious consequences, both physically and psychologically. In addition to bruising, fractures, and in some cases, death, a fall can destroy confidence, increase isolation and reduce independence, with 9% of older people who fall becoming afraid to leave their homes in case they fall again. It is also calculated that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will suffer with osteoporosis – resulting in likely future fractures if left unmanaged.
The event was held in partnership with Age UK, Home Instead Senior Care, Equipment and Adaptations, Central Call, Podiatry and Healthy Bones Classes. Information stands were manned by staff and local services to provide advice and information for falls and fracture prevention.
Members of the public and staff were invited to attend to learn more about the issues associated with falls and bone health and the services in place to manage them. In addition a presentation was held to highlight specific messages around bone health, including getting enough vitamin D from the sun and calcium and doing regular strength and balance exercise.
Speaking about the event Jan Kitchen, Clinical Falls Specialist, with the
Barnsley Falls and Osteoporosis Service, said, “The event helped promote the services and interventions that can help older people to reduce their risk of falls and challenge the common perception that falling is an inevitable part of ageing. Even minor falls can have a significant impact on peoples‘ lives, with the fear of falling resulting in loss of confidence to carry out daily tasks such as going outdoors, shopping or even moving around in their own homes. But falls do not have to be an inevitable part of getting older. The falls awareness event aimed to show ways of preventing falls and subsequent injury.”
Read more about the falls and osteoporosis service in the Barnsley Service Offer document