Falls and Injury Prevention

Falls and Injury Prevention programmes help to reduce the risk of falls in older adults

Activate Health were initially involved with numerous pilot schemes for Falls and Injury Prevention for the NHS these were very successful with very positive evaluation results. Classes are now ongoing throughout Shropshire with referrals from consultants, GP’s and other health professionals and are be delivered in Nursing Homes, Community Centres, Day Hospitals throughout Shropshire.

Attending Falls Prevention classes has been proven to Improve:

  • Confidence and reduce the fear if falling
  • Leg and postural strength
  • Balance
  • The ability to perform normal acts of daily living
  • Co-ordination and reaction times
  • Flexibility and mobility

‘Its never to late to start adding life to years and years to life’

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‘Keeping active prevents falls!’ 

How can physical activity help prevent falls? 

Many research projects have shown that risk factors can be reduced and increased benefits are made in the reduction of falls and injuries when an individual participates in safe structured and appropriate physical activity, this includes osteoporotic fractures. The research indicates the duration of the specific exercise intervention for the falls prevention programme is a key determinate of the effectiveness.

Effective exercise must be regular (1-2 x per/week), specific, and progressive in nature to exceed 15 weeks in duration for those people who are at risk of falls and a minimum of 9 months for the people who are already fallers.

There are three phases to a falls prevention programme.

  • Induction/skilling up phase                  weeks 1-11
  • Training gain phase                              weeks 12-23
  • Maintaining the gains phase                weeks 24-48

A falls programme is the provision of comprehensive structured, evidence based frame work for practice. The aims of the programme are to:

  • Reduce the risk of falls and related-injury
  • Offer education to promote positive lifestyle changes
  • Provide safe, effective, enjoyable exercise programmes
  • Build on the functional gains achieved by Therapy Services
  • Make on going assessments of health and functional capacity

This will be achieved by:

  • Improving neuromuscular function
  • Progressively improving lower and upper limb strength, mass and bone density
  • Making improvements in postural alignment and gait technique, balance and co-ordination
  • Increasing confidence, coping strategies and reducing the fear of falling

There are over 400 factors that potentially increase the risk of falls in older people. Making a few positive adjustments to a person’s lifestyle can dramatically reduce those risks. 

Postural Stability Instructors (PSI)

The PSI qualification is a recognised, validated national training course the first of its kind worldwide. It was set up to meet the well over due need for trained professionals to support national targets in accident prevention. It is compatible with:

  • National framework of Occupational Standards (NOS)
  • National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) sited at level 4 Exercise Practitioner
  • Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) level 4 advanced instructor
  • 30 credit points to postgraduate certificate in Falls and Osteoporosis at least 3 UK Universities

The programme guidelines provide a comprehensive structured, evidence based frame work for practice.

Our instructors are trained by ‘Later Life Training’ who are the leading providers of PSI training in the country

The aims for a PSI will be to provide the following;

  • Establish quality-assured service provision in the community
  • Improve access for participation in physical activity
  • Encourage education to promote positive lifestyle changes
  • Sharing skills between professionals involved, enabling consistency in communication
  • Provide safe, effective enjoyable exercise programmes
  • Provide graded transitions between the Primary Care and community leisure groups
  • Build on the functional gains achieved by Therapy Services
  • Provide support to Physiotherapists/Occupational Therapists working in clinical and community settings
  • Provide on going assessments of health and functional capacity (inc functional testing)
  • Provide social opportunities to increase long term commitment to exercise
  • Recognise triggers for referral between professional

The training is supported by Age UK.