This week, we’re coming together with partners across Yorkshire and the Humber to celebrate our annual Falls Week (Tuesday 20 September – Monday 26 September).
Falls are a common and serious problem for older people, seriously impacting their health and independence. Each year, 30 per cent of people over the age of 65 have a fall, rising to 50 per cent for people aged 80 and over.
To help people stay safe and steady this winter, we will be using Falls Week to promote the simple things older people can do to reduce their risk of falling. These include:
- Having regular ear checks and sight tests to help identify problems early.
- Making sure you have a yearly medication review.
- Avoiding drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Watching out for clutter, trailing wires, rugs, uneven floors, spills and slippery floors.
- Checking you have properly fitted shoes and slippers.
Low-impact exercises, such as walking, gardening or dancing, are a great way to improve your strength and balance while reducing your risk of falls. We have simple exercise videos on our falls prevention webpage or get inspired with What’s Your Move.
On Wednesday 21 September, Barnsley U3A helped us celebrate Falls Week by offering free Functional Fitness MOTs outside The Glass Works. Through a few simple checks, they helped people understand how they can improve their strength, balance and flexibility.
Our Barnsley Older People Physical Activity Alliance (BOPPAA) also offer a wide range of fun activities in our communities to help get older people moving.
Funded by Barnsley Council and led by Age UK Barnsley, the Alliance will be running free taster sessions this week where you can try out the wide range of activities they offer.
Find out what’s happening in your community on the new BOPPAA website.
Councillor Caroline Makinson, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “We want everyone in Barnsley to be able to enjoy a happy and healthy life. Falls Week is a great opportunity to highlight the ways we can reduce our risk of falls as we get older and help our loved ones stay safe this winter.
“I’m delighted to see BOPPAA joining in this year’s festivities, offering older people fun and social ways to stay active. Whether you’re looking for relaxing tai chi, to make a splash at aqua aerobics or to get some friends together for walking football, please visit their website and see the wide range of activities they offer.”
Throughout the week, we will be sharing advice for older people to stay safe and reduce their risk of falls on our social media channels. Keep an eye out for #FallProofBarnsley.
For more information on reducing your risk of falls, visit our falls prevention webpage.