Falls Prevention

We are currently working on rolling out Falls Prevention Exercise classes throughout Shetland.

Our Falls Prevention Officer, Shelley Sandison, is currently working on rolling out Falls Prevention classes to all areas of Shetland so that each local community can experience the benefits of the sessions.

These classes are aimed at older adults who have previously had a fall, or who are at risk of a fall with the aim of preventing future falls and injury. It is a great chance to come to a group exercise session to improve your balance and strength. There is scientific evidence that the exercises used in the sessions help to increase endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. Exercise, however gentle, is good for body and mind, at every stage of life. Add in a social element and it's no wonder physical activity helps us stay connected and upbeat, as well as mobile and healthy.

The programme is delivered by a OTAGO trained instructor who will help you identify your goals and make sure you exercise in a safe and supported environment.  All exercises will be adapted to each individual so that no exercise is too easy or too difficult and there are seated alternatives available for all exercises.

Initially, Shelley will take your OTAGO based exercise class in your local community where you will do 1 hour of strength and balance exercises. After each exercise class a number of talks will be done on different topics by Shelley herself or visiting health professionals. These talks are done along with a cup of tea and is a good chance for you or your carer to voice any concerns or questions you may have. lt's also so great chance to have a yarn with old and new friends. The topics covered include:

  • Nutrition - the importance of having a well balanced diet and reducing alcohol consumption.
  • Medication - the importance of reviewing medication and the effects of certain medication.
  • Home Safety- what you can do to reduce any home hazards and promote your independence and wellbeing there.
  • Eyesight and Hearing - the importance of eye and hearing checks and the different condiions to look out for.
  • Foot Care - how to keep your feet healthy and learn about the correct footwear. You can find some tips for your feet here or you can print off this tip sheet.
  • What to do if you fall - a physiotherapist will talk about what to do if you fall.
  • Mental Health - learning about Mental Healh and dealing with the fear of falling.
  • General Health - discussions around general healh and lifestyle checks, continence and osteoporosis.
  • Physical Activity & Staying Active - the importance of keeping active, walking and doing the Otago strength and balance exercises.
  • Citizens Advice Bureau - they will discuss your entitlements and how to save energy in your home.

What Happens Next?

  • The GP/Nurse/another health care professional will refer you to use if they think this programme will be of benefit to you.
  • Someone will contact you regarding the programme and if you are interested we will do an inital assessment.
  • You will be placed in a suitable class to suit your needs.
  • The programme will run weekly for 8 weeks in your local community.
  • You will receive a booklet to take home which includes an exercise diary to do the exercises at home.
  • After the 8 weeks we will assess you again to review your progress.
  • You will be referred to your local leisure centre if you widh to carry on going to an exercise class.
  • A member of the team will keep in touch to ensure you are still progressing well and offer you any support you need.

For Professionals

If you are a professional and think that an older adult is at risk of a fall, you can use this Falls Risk Screening Tool to assess and referr on to the relevant professional.

Also, if you think that an individual could benefit from Falls Prevention Strength & Balance Classes please get in touch with Shelley Sandison - Falls Prevention Coordinator for more information and to refer - shelleysandison@nhs.net

For any other information or questions about the referal process please don't hesitate to contact us at Health Improvement on: 0159580794 or info@healthyshetland.com