WITH A&E facing an increase in demand, people over 65 are being encouraged to take part in exercises to reduce their chances of having a fall.
Around one in three adults over 65 are likely to have a fall once a year, with the risk increasing during winter.
Solent NHS Trust and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust are encouraging people to learn exercises to help prevent falls or attend classes.
It is hoped if fewer people are having falls, it will help the pressure on the emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham.
Sally Ann Belward, falls clinical lead physiotherapist at Solent, said: ‘Falls-related injuries are the leading cause of death in people aged over 75. Knowing how to prevent them is important – whether it is to help ourselves, loved-ones or our neighbours.
‘I’d urge all those affected to make the most of the support networks which are there to help.
‘Often just taking advice, listening to simple suggestions and making minor adjustments in our home can make a big difference.’
Solent and Southern Health say a fall is often the symptom of an underlying problem so reporting it to a GP is important. They added most falls are avoidable and there are simple ways to prevent them such as regular exercise.
GPs can run balance checks to see whether patients are at a greater risk and can refer patients to specialist support services.
Many falls can be avoided by clearing clutter, putting in hand rails and good lighting in the home.
The NHS, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Age UK can offer support by performing home checks or assessments while recommending simple things to help prevent a fall.
Adi Phillips, falls prevention co-ordinator for Southern Health, said: ‘It’s important to let your GP, nurse or therapist know that you have had a fall.
‘They will arrange for you to receive a falls assessment and advice on how to reduce the risk of it happening again.’
Solent’s falls prevention service is holding a workshop on January 25 between 10.30am and midday at St James’ Hospital in Milton.
To attend call (023) 8060 8889.