Warrington has an ageing population and falls are the most common adverse event for the elderly population. 1 in 3 over 65’s and 1 in 2 over 80 year olds will fall at least once a year.
Warrington has a significant public health issue in relation to falls, particularly for those over 65 years being admitted to hospital with an injury. Falls are costly to the individual, the NHS and the social care system.
It is suggested that the psychological effects of falling can sometimes be more damaging than the physical injuries that someone may sustain. A fall may mean:
- Fear of future falls
- Loss of confidence
- Restriction in activities
- Social withdrawal and loneliness / depression
This can create a vicious circle where a person becomes more sedentary, this in turn will affect their muscle strength and balance, and consequently increase their risk of a fall. Therefore, fear of falling must be addressed when trying to prevent future falls.
Poor muscle strength and balance are the two most common modifiable risk factors for falls. Between the ages of 50 and 70, we lose about 30% of our muscle strength. As we age, our balance reaction times and reflexes become slower – so it is harder to regain balance.
Experts recommend per week for over 65 year olds:
150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (10 minute bouts) e.g. walking, gardening, dancing
2 x muscle-strengthening exercises
2 x balance and coordination activities.
8 top tips to stay well on your feet:
Exercise regularly (strength & balancing)
Check vision and hearing
Visit the GP if had a fall or worried about falling
Get medication checked
Look after your feet
Check the home for hazards
Seek support for any continence issues.
Local Service Information:
Livewire: ‘Stay on Your Feet’ Exercise programme
Referral based exercise programme ran by Livewire that aims to:
- Improve balance, muscle strength, & flexibility
- Build the sustained engagement of older people in exercise
- Reduce the risk of falling
Livewire also offer other exercise services.
University of 3rd Age (U3A)
Warrington U3A is part of a UK-wide movement that brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment.
U3A is all voluntary and members draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other.
Warrington U3A has around 1200 members and is home to over sixty activity groups including exercise sessions such as Tai-Chi, Latin dance, Line dancing, Badminton etc.
First Response Team (previously known as Access Social Care)
Provide a single point of access for all Social Service needs, and offer support to help people live independently within their own home through adaptations (pendant alarms). Pendant alarms can help prevent a long lie as a result of a fall and provide confidence to remain living in your own home.
Community Rehab and Falls service (NHS Bridgewater)
A multi-disciplinary team consisting of therapists and nurses who are responsible for the specialist assessment of people who have had, or are at risk of a fall but remain at home.
Age UK (Mid Mersey)
Age UK is a charitable organization that operates to promote and provide older people with a holistic range of health, wellbeing and care services to allow individuals more choice and control in their everyday lives.
Warrington Home Improvement Agency (WHiA)
Is a non-profit advisory service for older, disabled or vulnerable people and families who own their own homes or live in private rented accommodation and wish to repair, improve or adapt their homes.
Warrington Public Health
The Public Health (PH) team commissions, supports and provides information on a range of public health and wellbeing issues. You can view lots of information and find out about activities and services available in Warrington, specifically Healthy Ageing information and advice by visiting their website.
CGL pathways to recovery
Pathways to Recovery is a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for adults in Warrington. They operate an open access service where you can walk in to talk to someone or alternatively speak to your GP who can refer you.
Lifetime is an independent, not for profit centre and free to join. The centre is open weekdays for casual drop in’s, information, computer suite, café facilities and a wide programme of affordable activities and classes including arts/crafts, health and fitness and music and dance.
Warrington Disability Partnership (WDP)
WDP is an independent, user led, charity that offers a wide range of mobility and independent living services. WDP operates from the Warrington Centre for Independent Living which is set out with practical displays of hundreds of daily living aids: 3 and 4 wheel walkers, perching and shower stools, bath boards, helping hands grabbers etc.
WDP also operates the Smart Flat, which offers working displays of assistive technology. Information, advice and guidance is available on Direct Payments, Personal Health Budgets and Payroll services.
Talking Matters Warrington – CBT for fear of falling
Offer an Exposure-Based Cognitive Behavioural approach for after fall injury for those at risk of further falling due to increased anxiety or those experiencing low mood or trauma following a fall.