Healthy Bones, Happy Feet: Falls Awareness Week 2014 in Runcorn & Widnes

How to keep our bones healthy and strong

Keeping our bones healthy through keeping active and a healthy diet can help to reduce your risk of a fall in later life.

Falls at any age can be serious, but for the over 50’s, a fall can mean serious injury and recovery times can be much longer. So anything we can do to minimise our risk of falling as we age is important. Even if you don’t think you’re at risk now, there is still lots you can do to maintain healthy bones.

Falls Awareness Week 16th – 20th June 2014

Falls Awareness Week runs every year to promote the services and interventions that can help reduce the risk of a fall, and encourage older people to get active in later life. It’s also an opportunity for older people, relatives and carers to find out more about falls and take part in the local classes and services that can help to prevent them.

During the week of the 16th – 20th June, in Halton the Health Improvement Team and its partners will be delivering a range of events and activities around the theme of ‘Healthy Bones, Happy Feet’ to raise awareness of the everyday risks that can cause falls and show people how keeping healthy and strong can also reduce the risk of a fall.

Step on board our bus!

Between the 16th and 18th June, our team will be out in the community in Runcorn and Widnes to speak to older people, carers and family members offering hearing checks, foot health checks, healthy bone recipes, cooking demonstrations and information about falls prevention and healthy living for the over 50’s.

Our falls awareness bus will be at the following locations where you’ll be able to speak to our team:

  • Widnes, Green Oaks Morrisons Mon 16th June 9.00 am – 12.00 midday
  • Runcorn, Asda Tues 17th June 9.00 am – 12.00 midday
  • Widnes, Green Oaks Morrisons Mon 16th June 9.00 am – 12.00 midday

Councillor Marie Wright from Halton Borough Council says;

“We can’t escape the fact that we are an ageing population. Getting old can take its toll, which is why looking after your health and wellbeing is so important.

“Falling has a serious impact on your quality of life and health, as well as on health and social care costs. While there are many factors that can increase the risk of a fall, keeping active and eating a healthy diet as we age we can help to keep our bones healthy and strong and so reduce those risks.

“We want to encourage everyone to come along to our demonstrations during Falls Awareness Week and try out some of our tasty good bone food, or even try a new activity, like Tai Chi.”

Bone is a living tissue that continues to develop even after we stop growing in height. After the age of 35 bone strength naturally deteriorates as part of the aging process. So what can we do to help keep our bones strong in older age and reduce the risk of falls?

Keep active for healthy bones

Keeping active as we age is important to maintaining bone health and reducing our risk of falls, and there are many activities available every week in Halton for the over 50s that not only offer a chance to keep active but socialise too.

Activities such as Tai Chi, New Age Bowling, walking football and kurling are on offer every week through Halton Borough Council’s Get Active scheme.

More information can be found on our website: or direct from Paula Parle at Halton Borough Council on 0151 511 8550.

For further information about the content of this news release, please contact the Halton Health Improvement Communications Team on 0151 495 5450.

Between a third to a half of people aged over 65 falls each year and this percentage increases with age. Falls are a major cause of disability and the leading cause of mortality resulting from injury in people aged over 75 in the UK. Over 190,000 older people in England are admitted to hospital as a result of a fall every year.

In Halton, the trend locally follows the national picture with a dramatic increase in the number of fallers admitted aged 70+ and a very steep increase in the over 80s.

National statistics: 

  • 1:3 people aged 65+ experiences a fall at least once a year.
  • 14,000 people die annually as a result of hip fractures
  • Falls are a major cause of disability and mortality resulting from injury in over 75s
  • Incidence rates for falls in nursing homes / hospitals are 2-3 times greater than community settings
  • Approximately 5% of Older People who fall, experience a fracture or require hospitalisation
  • 648,000 attendances at Accident and Emergency Department each year
  • Cost to the NHS over £900 million per year
  • Falls represent over half of hospital admissions for accidental injury, particularly hip fracture
  • Half of those with hip fracture never regain their former level of function and one in five die within three months
  •  Of those older people who enter falls prevention programmes, most do so only after they have fallen, by which time they may have suffered serious consequences

Tips for staying healthy and avoiding a fall 

There are many other things besides good diet and exercise to look out for which can also help to reduce the risk of falls, for example:

Having your eyes checked regularly 

This will help to identify any difficulties you may be having with your glasses prescription or other vision problems that may be affecting your balance and co-ordination.

Looking after your feet 

It sounds simple but wearing well fitted shoes and slippers can help to reduce your risk of falls by making sure you are able to feel contact with the floor. Report any problems with your feet to your GP or practice nurse.

Managing your medicines 

Certain medicines can make you feel faint or affect your balance. It’s important that you let your GP know if you ever feel like this after taking medicine or if you are taking several medicines.

Partners in this year’s Halton Falls Awareness week are the Halton Health Improvement Team, Halton Borough Council, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Wellbeing Enterprises, Halton Housing.

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