As part of our new Pilates term in November, we are adding a weekly ‘Falls Prevention Class’ which will take the form of a 60 minute exercise class aimed at improving general strength, balance, mobility and physical activity. The class will be run by a Chartered Physiotherapist who is trained in tailoring therapeutic exercise for all age groups.
Why a Falls Prevention Class?
The proportion of the population over the age of 60 years is growing rapidly and is likely to continue to grow in the coming years . More than 33% of community-dwelling people aged over 65 years unfortunately will experience a fall at least once a year, while 50% of those will have recurrent falls [2,3]. As age increases, the rate of falls can increase up to 60% [2,4]. Falling can badly effect confidence, reduce a persons feeling of independence and possibly result in isolation, with around 1 in 10 older people who fall becoming afraid to leave their homes for fear of falling again .
There are many different reasons why people may be more likely to fall in later life. The increased risk can be due to side-effects of various medications, poorly fitting footwear, or the natural deterioration in eyesight, muscle strength and balance [6,7]. In many cases, it is not simply one, but a combination of these risk factors that leads to a fall.
Much research has been conducted into the area of Falls Prevention . One Randomised Controlled Trial showed that an individualised group exercise programme delivered over a nine month period can reduce the risk of falling by as much as 54 per cent .
Our Falls Prevention Classes will focus on improving strength, balance, general mobility and physical activity among participants. Our aim in introducing these Falls Prevention Classes is primarily to reduce the incidence of falls in the local elderly population. We would also like to provide an opportunity to help improve the strength and well-being of our clients, in a safe and social environment.
Would you like to join us?
Age Ageing 2006, 35:ii37-ii41.
3 Moreland J, Richardson J, Chan DH, O’Neill J, Bellissimo A, Grum RM, Shanks L: Evidence-based guidelines for the secondary prevention of falls in older adults. Gerontology 2003, 49(2):93-116.
4 Rubenstein LZ, Josephson KR: The epidemiology of falls and syncope. Clin Geriatr Med 2002, 18(2):141-158.
5 Help the Aged, 2008. Spotlight Report 2008
6 NICE guidelines, CG161, 2013. Falls: The assessment and prevention of falls in older people
7 British Geriatrics Society and The College of Optometrists, 2010 The Importance of Vision in Preventing Falls
8 Cochrane Review, 2012. Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community.
9 Skelton et al, 2005. Tailored group exercise (Falls Management Exercise — FaME) reduces falls in community-dwelling older frequent fallers (an RCT).