New online falls prevention tool launched across South Tees

NHS, local authority and voluntary organisations across South Tees have launched an innovative new falls prevention tool to help older people stay safe.

The ‘Steady on Your Feet’ campaign and self-assessment tool offer practical help and advice and a range of online resources to help reduce the risk of falls.

Kathryn Hodgson falls clinical team lead, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Falls are the leading cause of accidental death in older people in the UK.

“Around a third of people aged over 65 and half of those over 80 fall at least once a year with an annual cost to the NHS of £2.3 billion.

“The ‘Steady on your Feet’ campaign aims to increase confidence in older people by offering helpful advice, guidance and resources as well as lots of simple tips to help them stay active, independent and safe.”

Falls in older people can often be attributed to a number of causes including reduced strength and balance, impaired vision or hearing, environmental hazards, poorly fitting footwear or changes to diet.

“Falling or feeling unsteady on your feet, can really impact upon a person’s confidence,” added Kathryn.

“It can cause distress, pain, injury and loss of independence and not only affects the individual but also their family members and carers too.

“The online ‘Steady on Your Feet’ tool is easily accessible to people within their own home, they can complete it by themselves or with help from family members, at outpatient appointments with help from nursing staff or with help from one of our trained voluntary organisation partners.

“Once completed the assessment will provide a fully comprehensive action plan with ideas, exercise suggestions and helpful advice on how they can to reduce their risk of a fall.”

The tool, developed in partnership between NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Middlesbrough Council, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Cleveland Fire Brigade and local voluntary sector organisations is available at www.steadyonyourfeet.org.

Funding for the online tool was provided by Ageing Better, Middlesbrough, from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Programme manager Michelle Dawson added: “With this being Falls Prevention Awareness Week there really is no better time to launch the new South Tees ‘Steady on your Feet’ campaign and self-assessment tool.”

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