Updated: Sunday, 29th March 2020 @ 7:27am

Manchester's elderly warned as figures reveal one in three over-65s have serious fall EVERY year

Manchester's elderly warned as figures reveal one in three over-65s have serious fall EVERY year

| By Josh Willacy

One in three over 65s and half of all people over the age of 80 will have a serious fall each year, according to Age UK.

The consequences when an elderly person has a fall can often be devastating, taking away independence while causing distress and disruption to families.   

It is currently Age UK’s National Falls Awareness Week and the charity is providing information which aims to help those at risk reduce the chance of taking a tumble.

Senior Media Officer Helen Spinney said: “There are many different reasons why people fall in later life. It can happen as a result of dizziness caused by different medications or medical conditions.

“Extrinsic factors such as poorly fitting footwear and uneven paving can be a cause or natural deterioration in eyesight and muscle strength.

“In many cases, it is not simply one, but a combination of these risk factors that leads to a fall.”

Having a fall can seriously knock someone’s confidence and the anxiety experienced can often make them cautious about doing tasks they managed with ease beforehand. 

This constant worry can make people reclusive and depressed.

On the other hand a fear of losing independence can make those who have fallen reluctant to get help from fear of being moved into a care home, but Age UK says this needn’t be the case. 

The charity says regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to stay steady on your feet.

Particular things that focus on balance while strengthening legs like gardening, dancing, tai chi or special balance and stability classes.

If this is too much, people can improve their balance by just standing up slowly and repeatedly rising to a standing position from a chair

Manchester’s Age UK provides classes for the elderly on a regular basis at all levels from dances classes to seated exercise classes.

Helen said: “Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing and there are simple steps that people can take to prevent them.

“We provide a number of free falls prevention resources including our ‘Staying Steady’ and ‘Healthy Living’ guides.”

The charity warns those at risk to be aware of objects in the home that could cause slips, trips or falls. 

Small things like having good lighting in the house, making sure all pets wear a bell, clearing clutter from the house and fixing frayed carpets alleviates any potential causes for concern.

If a fall does occur, Manchester’s Community Alarm services help those in vulnerable situations around the clock 365 days of the year.

The alarm is free to install and when a fall does occur and a button is pushed or sensor triggered an operator will be on hand to offer guidance and contact a family member or emergency services if the situation warrants it.

Another option is to have response officers on hand who are specially trained in moving and handling techniques.

To find out more information on fall prevention or post fall services click hereor for the alarm services here.

Image courtesy of Borya, with thanks.