Solent NHS TrustHigh quality community and mental health services

Falls Awareness Week

Published: 23/03/2011

Get up and go for National Falls Awareness Week

21 June 2010

Elderly people are being encouraged to take up physical exercises that can improve their balance and help prevent falls.

To mark National Falls Awareness Week (21-25 June), physiotherapists from Solent Healthcare’s Falls Prevention Team will lead free public exercises and provide advice in Shirley outside Sainsbury’s supermarket from 8.30am on Wednesday.

The team will also be available to talk to elderly people, their friends and families about the risks of falling and the practical changes that can reduce risks.

During the event - finishing at 2.30pm - Solent Healthcare teams will also offer blood checks, advice from a pharmacist and a podiatrist as well as information about relevant local services such as:

  • providers of well fitting shoes
  • opticians that can do homes visits
  • free ferrule exchange ie replacement of worn rubber ends to walking sticks and walking aids.

With falls among elderly people costing the NHS up to £4.6m daily, according to Age UK, the theme for this year’s National Falls Awareness Week ‘Get up and Go!’ is meant to highlight the importance of keeping fit.

Sally Ann Belward, Falls Clinical Lead Physiotherapist at Solent Healthcare, said, “As we age our muscle strength naturally declines, which increases our risk of falls. Physical inactivity can make this much worse, so it’s important not to be tempted to slow down as we grow older. Not all types of exercise can prevent falls, but specific programmes for strength and balance have been shown to reduce the risk of falls by as much as 60 per cent.

“The theme represents the independence we all aspire to in later life and the strength and balance we need to keep active. Put quite simply, ‘Get Up and Go’ is having the strength and power to rise from a chair; balance to remain upright and balance and endurance to go walking.”


Notes for Editors:

Picture caption: Health professionals taking people through their paces during last year’s Falls Awareness Day in Shirley, Southampton

The event is part of a national awareness campaign, run by Age UK, which is the new charity formed by the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged.

Information on National Falls Awareness Week can be found at

Solent Healthcare was created on 1 April 2010 through the integration of Southampton Community Healthcare and Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services

It is hosted by Southampton City Primary Care Trust and provides community health services throughout Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire

For more information please contact Elton Dzikiti, Assistant Communications Manager, Solent Healthcare on 023 8060 8934.

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