[A] creative new campaign, ‘Up and About’ from Cumbria County Council’s Public Health and Communities teams to help residents avoid falls and trips will be launched this Friday 22 September at a special event in Carlisle Library between 9.30am and 12pm. Additional events are being held around the county throughout the following week.
The aim of the ‘Up and About’ campaign is to raise awareness of the simple steps that can be taken to avoid falls, as well as to raise awareness of the type of exercise that people should be taking to prevent having a fall.
There are approximately 2,000 emergency hospital admissions for falls each year in people aged 65 and over in Cumbria and around one in three adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year.
By 2020, nearly 25% of the Cumbrian population will be aged over 65. As people grow older, their health needs become more complex with physical and mental health needs impacting on each other. North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) data indicates that falls make up approximately 88% of all injuries serious enough to warrant an ambulance call out for people aged 50 years and over.
Prevention is better than cure and the campaign will promote some top tips for staying steady, including:
- Exercise regularly
- Check your eyes and hearing
- Ask your pharmacist to review any medicines or prescriptions
- Take calcium for strong bones
- Take vitamin D to support the body absorb calcium
- Check your home for hazards
- Look after your feet
- If you’ve had a fall or are worried about falling, tell your GP
Those worried about falling or at risk are invited to a variety of forthcoming events taking place in Cumbria’s libraries – including the launch of the ‘Up and About’ campaign with a ‘Sloppy Slipper Swap’ and coffee morning at Carlisle Library this Friday at 9.30am – 12noon. There will also be Tai Chi tasters and advice and information sessions on topics such as home hazards and the importance of medication reviews.
Councillor Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services, said:
“Falling is a terrible thing for anyone, but as we get older they can begin to take their toll and lead to a loss of confidence, independence and worst of all they’re a big cause of hospital admissions and can result in serious injuries and long-term complications.
“I welcome this campaign and the ongoing work of our Public Health and Communities teams to raise awareness of ways to prevent falls to keep us all up and about.”
Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health, said:
“Falls and fractures are a common and serious health issue faced by older people, there are a large number of risk factors and the vast majority of falls could be prevented with some fairly modest changes to our lifestyle and homes.
“We want every older person to have the best opportunity to live and age well without fear of falling and injury.”
- Friday 22 September – ‘Up and About’ launch event and Sloppy Slipper Swap at Carlisle Library, 9.30am – 12pm
- Tuesday 26 September – Tai Chi event at Carlisle Library, 10.30am – 11.30am
- Thursday 28 September – Tai Chi event at Penrith library, free Tai-Chi demo.
- Friday 29 September – Sloppy Slipper Swap and advice session at Penrith library, 10am – 12noon. We will swap you – bring your old slippers in and we will give you a new pair! At the same time join us for a cuppa and cake at our Macmillan coffee morning – includes a raffle and tombola.
We will have lots of information and advice on falls prevention, top tip goody bags, vision check charts, foot care information, and stretch & relax exercise sessions – same at each of the below events.
Monday 25 September
- Silloth Library 10am – 12 noon
- Wigton Library 2pm – 4pm
Tuesday 26 September
- Aspatria Library 10am – 12 noon
- Maryport Library 2pm – 4pm
Wednesday 27 September
- Cockermouth Library 10am – 1pm
Thursday 28 September
- Moorclose Library 10am – 12 noon
- Seaton Library 2pm – 4pm
Friday 29 September
- Keswick Library 10am – 12 noon
- Workington Library 10am – 4pm Sloppy Slipper Swap: swap your old, badly fitting slippers for new ones.
Monday 25 September, 10.00am – 2.00pm – Whitehaven Library
- Staff from West Cumberland Hospital Physiotherapy Department and an Occupational Therapist will be on hand to offer advice about strength and balance training, reducing the risk of falls, walking aid reviews and balance tests.
- Sloppy Slipper Swap: swap your old, badly fitting slippers for new ones.
Wednesday 27 September, 1.00pm – 3.00pm – Whitehaven Library
- Staff from Age UK West Cumbria will be here with advice on daily living aids designed to make life easier around the home.
Thursday 28 September, 10.00am – 12.00 – Whitehaven Library
- Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will be here with advice on how to stay safe and well in your home.
Friday 29 September, 12.00 – 3.00pm – Whitehaven Library
- Adult Social Care staff will be attending this session to offer advice on staying safe in your home environment, equipment adaptation and safety aids.
Barrow & South Lakes
Friday 22 September 10 – 11.30am – Millom Library
- Louise Ball (Community Physiotherapy) Falls prevention information & advice and free walking aid checks.
Monday 25 September 10 – 11am – Millom Library
- Sonya Park (Case Manager at Millom Hospital) and Denise Davison (Care Co-ordinator at Waterloo House Surgery) – promoting falls prevention ideas and signposting to other agencies.
Thursday 28 September 10 – 11am – Millom Library
- Sonya Park, Louise Ball and Vanessa Wilson (Asst Practitioner, Community Services, Millom Hospital). General advice and guidance to raise awareness in preventing falls.
Friday 29 September 10am – 12pm – Barrow Indoor Market
- Community Development Officers will be offering free information, advice and chair-based exercises and demonstrations. Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service will also be present to offer help and guidance with home & fire safety issues.