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Centre for Ageing Better: Raising the bar on strength and balance: The importance of community-based provision

The Centre for Ageing Better has released an executive summary with advice, recommendations and raising awareness titled 'Raising the bar on strength and balance: The importance of community-based provision'.

"We know that poor muscle strength and balance are the two most common modifiable risk factors for falls. We also know that falls have a huge impact on people who can lose mobility and confidence to keep doing things on their own after having a fall, often ending up requiring more hospital and social care. Every year there are over 210,000 falls-related emergency hospital admissions among people aged 65 and older in England (PHE, 2018). It is estimated that falls cost the NHS around £1 billion a year (Leal J et al, 2016).

For individuals who are experiencing a decline in their ability to do everyday activities, or who have already had a fall, there are some NHS rehabilitation services that provide strength and balance programmes. However, these are often of limited length, making it essential that there are effective community-based strength and balance programmes in their local areas to move on to. What is needed is a more holistic response that doesn’t simply medicalise the problem but focuses on supporting people to age well and remain independent more broadly.

Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing and can be prevented. Raising awareness of the risk of falls as well as what older people can do to prevent them is an important part of engaging local populations, increasing uptake of community-based strength and balance programmes..."

Read the full executive summary here

Source: Centre for Ageing Better February 2019

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