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Keeping the Elderly on their Feet

Published Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Best Foot Forward is the name of a programme launched by Ribble Valley Borough Council aimed at keeping the elderly steady on their feet.

The community-based falls prevention programme focuses on improving the strength, balance and posture of elderly residents who have either fallen or are at risk of falling.

Around 30 per cent of adults who are over 65 and living at home experience at least one fall a year, rising to 50 per cent of adults over 80. Thankfully, most falls do not result in serious injury, but five per cent do, such as broken bones.

Best Foot Forward, which is part of Ribble Valley Borough Council's Year of Health and Wellbeing and supported by Ribblesdale Clinical Commissioning Group, is available to residents who have attended falls management classes at Clitheroe Hospital, or by medical referral to those with poor balance or a condition that puts them at risk of falling.

Tracy Balko, Ribble Valley Borough Council's health and fitness officer, said: "Falls in the elderly are more likely to result in serious injury and can be devastating to the individual concerned.

"They can have an adverse psychological impact on elderly people, who after a fall can lose confidence, become withdrawn and feel as if they have lost their independence.

"Falls are also expensive to manage, due to the cost of in-patient and residential care.

"Best Foot Forward aims to help participants improve their strength, balance and confidence.

"The classes start with a gentle warm, followed by specially adapted exercises, including elements of Tai Chi, and end with refreshments and an information session."

Further information about Best Foot Forward is available from Tracy on 01200 414484.

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