Southern Trust raises awareness of Falls Prevention Resources
08/05/2014The Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) has developed two resources in an effort to raise awareness of falls during Home Accident Prevention Week 12-18 May 2014, the focus of which is on accidental falls.
This is a regional campaign organised by Home Accident Prevention Northern Ireland (HAPNI).
The Trust’s Online Falls Prevention directory was developed to raise awareness of the most common falls risk factors, and to highlight the measures that people can take to reduce their risk of having a fall. It provides information on services provided by the Trust and other organisations that can help if someone has had a fall or is concerned about falling. The directory also has a dedicated section for professionals who provide services for older clients or service users and these groups are also encouraged to use it.
‘After a Fall’ booklet was produced to raise awareness of the appropriate response that should be followed after someone has had a fall. The guidance aims to reduce the impact of the injuries that can result from a fall and signpost people to falls related services. It also provides advice to help prevent a fall occurring. The booklet was funded by the Public Health Agency.
Teresa Ross, Head of Physiotherapy Services, Southern Trust said: “We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the Trust’s ongoing efforts to help prevent falls and frailty among older people. Both resources contain valuable information to help prevent falls and how to respond appropriately way when a fall does occur. It is important to encourage anyone who has fallen to report the fall to a health professional and seek help. Falls are a major health issue for older people and cause serious injuries and deaths every year. Without intervention individuals who fall once are much more likely to fall again.”
Gerard Rocks, Acting Assistant Director for Promoting Wellbeing, Southern Trust said “It is important that everyone especially older people, their families and carers take on board the falls prevention messages. During a person’s lifetime their living arrangements and health conditions can change placing them at greater risk. Falls are one of the most common accidents to occur in the home and they can be a life changing event for older people. Whilst it may not be possible to eliminate falls altogether, there is evidence to support that having a more systematic approach and carrying out risk assessments can lead to a reduction in injuries and longer periods of time between falls for older people.”
You can get a copy of the ‘After a Fall’ booklet or download the Falls Prevention directory from www.southerntrust.hscni.net/falls or for further information contact Nina Daly, Accident Prevention Officer, SHSCT on Tel: 028 3834 4973 or email: Nina.firstname.lastname@example.org
The SHSCT is calling on older people to:
- conduct a safety check of their home and outdoor environment
- have regular eye tests
- have a medication review through their GP or pharmacist
- report health changes to their GP who can refer you to other services and sources of help eg if you have difficulty walking, have dizziness, have hearing loss, foot pain etc.
- wear appropriate footwear that is good-fitting and that provides ankle support
- be more physically active http://www.southerntrust.hscni.net/livewell/physicalactivity.htm
- take steps to improve their bone health to reduce the risk of a fracture
- speak to their GP or other medical professional if they have concerns about falling or have experienced a fall
- ensure they can raise the alarm if they have fallen at home so that they can get help.