“Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing” – falls prevention week 2023


A photo of Karen smiling to the camera “Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing. Let’s take steps to be aware and take action to prevent falls from happening.”

Karen Greenbank, falls coordinator for our Trust inpatient wards and units reflects for falls prevention and awareness week, Monday 18 to Sunday 24 September 2023.

‘It takes a child one year to acquire independent movement and ten years to acquire independent mobility. An older person can lose both in a day’

Professor Bernard Isaacs (1924–1995)

“Falls prevention and awareness week is a global campaign to increase awareness of falls and related injury. Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing, but we know that people aged 65 and older have the highest risk of falling, with 30% of people older than 65 and 50% of people older than 80 falling at least once a year (NICE 2013).

“Having a fall can have a big impact on a person, as well as their families, carers and loved ones. There is initial distress, pain and injury which takes time to recover from. But there is also a more subtle or hidden impact where somebody may lose confidence in going about their usual activities, and it can lead to a loss of independence.

“Guidelines tell us that improving people’s knowledge about falls can help them to take action which can reduce falls, and injuries which are related to falls. A key part of this is how our services and teams work together with our patients, and encourage participation, collaboration and ensuring personalised care planning.

“Being admitted to an inpatient ward puts a person in an unfamiliar place, people may not know where things such as bathrooms are or find moving around a new place difficult. To help. our inpatient teams give people a falls assessment and have clinical specialists who can develop individualised care plans for people who are at risk of falls.

“But there are small things people can do which can make a big difference. From making sure you are walking in areas which are well lit, to standing up from a chair slowly and wearing supportive footwear. I would always recommend speaking to a member of staff if you have problems with walking or balance, or if you are worried about falls generally, talk to your GP or community team.

“Our staff are so passionate about patient care and safety, and preventing falls is a really key part of this.”

Throughout falls prevention week we are running initiatives and events across our Trust to improve knowledge about falls. You can drop in to one of our information stalls at our sites throughout the week:

The Dales reception, Calderdale Royal Hospital Monday 18 September 12-2pm
Kendray Hospital restaurant Tuesday 19 September 12-2pm
Priestley Unit reception, Dewsbury and District Hospital Wednesday 20 September 12-2pm
Fieldhead Hospital restaurant Thursday 21 September 12-2pm

Our Barnsley Integrated Community Team will also be running a market stall on Friday 22 September, 9am-3pm, in the Barnsley Market Hall (entrance). So come and talk to the team about all things falls. There will also be useful tips and advice from local organisations, take a look at the poster to find out more.

If you would like any further information about falls prevention you can take a look at our inpatient leaflet, our community leaflet, or poster.

About falls prevention and awareness week 2023

Falls prevention and awareness week runs from Monday 18 September to Sunday 24 September 2023. The theme for this year is ‘awareness into action’.

Reference: NICE Clinical guideline [CG161]. 2013. Falls in older people: assessing risk and prevention.

“Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing” – falls prevention week 2023

time to read: 2 min