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Cash Boost for Falls Prevention Exercise Scheme

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and fitness officer Tracy Balko.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and fitness officer Tracy Balko.
Published Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Ribble Valley Borough Council exercise scheme aimed at keeping the elderly steady on their feet has received a £5,000 cash boost.

The falls prevention programme Best Foot Forward focuses on improving the strength, balance and posture of older residents who have fallen or are at risk of falling.

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

The scheme has proved so successful for 13 participants, whose balance and confidence has improved, that it has received funding from the East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group for a further year.

Tracy Balko, Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and fitness development officer, said: “Best Foot Forward was made available to residents recovering from or at risk of a fall.

“From 13 original members, the programme now has 20 regular attendees, who have made so much progress that we are starting another beginners’ group in the New Year.”

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

Tracy Balko added: “Falls are usually more serious and expensive to manage in the elderly, due to the cost of in-patient and residential care.

“They can also have an adverse psychological impact on sufferers, who can lose confidence, become withdrawn and feel as if they have lost their independence.

“Best Foot Forward is helping elderly residents improve their strength, balance and confidence.”

For more information see Best Foot Forward or contact Tracy on 01200 414484.

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