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Falls Prevention & Management in Older People

News and presentations from today's conference focusing on falls prevention and management in older people with a focus on ensuring effective and resilient falls prevention activity during and beyond Covid-19. 

Chair’s Welcome & Introduction: National Developments in Falls Prevention

Professor Cameron Swift 
Emeritus Professor, Consultant Physician, Kings School of Medicine; and Specialist Committee MemberFalls Prevention Quality Standard, NICE

• falls prevention and management - where are we now?
• understanding and implementing national guidance
• responding to the National Audit of Inpatient Falls 2020, 2021
• current developments, challenges and opportunities

Cameron began today's conference by saying 'Falls are not just about injury, It's a signal of The Ageing Process, Suboptimal physical fitness, stable specific impairment, unstable systemic illness and Environmental risk factors'

Cameron went on to explain that 'Studies have shown that doing excercise reduces the rate of falls by 23%'

 

Improving falls education, awareness and exercise in older people

Tamsin Peach
Occupational Therapist and CityCare Falls Lead
Community Rehabilitation and Falls Team (North) Nottingham Citycare Partnership

• understanding the the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on physical activity in older people 
• educating patients and the public to understand why falls happen, how to get up from a fall and how to reduce the risk of falling
• working with patients to improve strength and balance 
• ensuring effective referral to your falls prevention programmes

Tamsin began by saying ' There was a massive impact on physical activity in older people caused by the lockdown' 'People have become deconditioned from shielding (self isolation/social distancing)  - Risk of Falls is greater due to reduced muscle strength and mobility'

Tamsin also said 'Focusing on maintaining independence and preserving quality of life are more likely to be acceptable by supporting a positive self image for patients and their relatives'

 

Meeting the psychological needs of those who have fallen: managing fear of falling and supporting  people to regain confidence after a fall

Dr Liz Baikie, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Lothian Older People’s Psychology Service, Western General Hospital

• understanding fear of falling and the psychological impact of a fall
• interventions and tools that can help
• supporting people to regain confidence after a fall 

Liz spoke about the psychological impact a fall can have on a person, she said 'Fear of falling and falls are linked and one can lead to the other'

Liz also talked about a study by Borowiak & Kostka from 2004 which found that 'Depression was the most powerful predictor of quality of life' 'Regular participation in physical activity is important for quality of life, as well as physical and cognitive function, preventing obesity'

 

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