Falls Awareness Week – time to take action

Falls Awareness Week – time to take action

Falls Awareness Week runs from 18- 24 September and aims to inform the public that many falls are preventable and that falling should not be an expected part of aging.

The theme this year is ‘From Awareness to Action’ and to support people to take action, information events will be held at Ninewells Hospital on Wednesday, 20 September and in the Overgate Shopping Centre in Dundee on Friday, 22 September.

Visitors to Ninewells Hospital and the Overgate Shopping Centre are encouraged to visit the information stands which will be open between 10am and 2pm and staffed by health professionals and partner agencies who will be able to give advice on falls prevention.

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

Physiotherapists and occupational therapists will be joined by representatives from Active for Life, Hope Project, Fire Safety and Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action and will be handing out falls prevention booklets, leaflets on nutrition and simple exercises as well as checking walking aids such as walking sticks to make sure they have the safety rubber ferrule tip.

Mascha Tauro, Falls Lead, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, said, “Having a fall is something that many people think of as something that happens in later life. However, falls can happen at any age, and can have a lasting impact on someone’s function, confidence and independence.

“It is hoped that improving people’s knowledge about falls will help them to take action which can reduce falls, and injuries which are related to falls. The information stands provide the opportunity for public to chat with the teams to find out some of the simple tips on what can be done to reduce the risk of falling. These can range from wearing suitable supportive footwear whether indoors or outdoors, checking with healthcare staff if medications make you dizzy, taking time to stand up slowly from a seated position, identifying and removing trip hazards in the home and ensuring that if you wear glasses, that they are kept clean.

“It is so important that people understand that falling is not a normal part of aging and regrettably many incidences when a fall takes place may have been preventable if some basic safety measures had been put in place.”