Published on: 27th October 2023
NHS trusts, local authorities and healthcare providers are facing an increasing challenge of managing the immediate consequences of falls, while trying to implement proactive, coordinated and preventive approaches for the future. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) reports that the cost of falls amounts to more than £2.3 billion annually, meaning the NHS spends over £6 million every single day.
More importantly than the financial cost, the impact that falls have on the elderly is serious. Falls are the leading reason that older people lose their independence and go into long-term care. A fall will also often cause a person to enter a downward spiral of fear, leading to inactivity, loss of strength and balance, and as a result, an increased risk of further falls. For those aged over 65, this can result in a wide variety of consequences, ranging from physical and social to psychological factors.
To address this issue, care organisations are investing in developing effective fall prevention strategies. Central to these is the combined role of education, advice, guidance, and self-assessment which are aimed at empowering individuals with the knowledge and resources to mitigate their personal risks.
Here, we outline the evidence about how educational interventions, self-assessment tools, and guidance programmes can have a significant impact on fall prevention.
Studies have shown that when people are educated about the risks and how to prevent them, they are less likely to experience a fall. Alongside educational resources, patient-focused materials such as leaflets and brochures are effective mediums to convey this crucial information.
Self-assessment tools play a pivotal role in customising fall prevention strategies and personalising action plans to the individual. These are important as they help tailor actions and interventions to each person's unique situation – this could be in relation to the home environment, family circumstances or medical conditions.
Research also shows that combining education with other interventions like exercise programs can be very effective in preventing falls. These multifactorial approaches have been shown to reinforce messages, instil good habits and significantly reduce fall risks.
Advice and Guidance Programmes
Guidelines developed by authoritative bodies like NICE provide structured guidance on the assessment and prevention of falls. This consistent support helps individuals improve their wellbeing, with a focus on areas such as strength and balance, which are crucial for preventing falls.
The evidence clearly shows the positive impact of education and self-assessment towards fall prevention – something which Steady On Your Feet aims to solidify and build upon. Our revolutionary platform serves as a comprehensive fall prevention solution, and can play a significant role in delivering programmes and guidance. Developed directly to support NHS trusts, local authorities, and healthcare providers, the tool helps roll-out integrated strategies leading to enhanced fall pathways.
By providing individuals with the knowledge and tools to create their own personal fall prevention plans, Steady On Your Feet empowers people to take control of their own safety. This blend of knowledge and action helps create a proactive approach which directly benefits the population.
The journey from evidence to action in fall prevention is a collaborative effort. And Steady On Your Feet stands as a testament to the power of education and self-assessment, in not only inspiring individuals but also equipping them with actionable plans. As we look forward and strive towards building communities where prevention is prioritised, the synergy between well-informed individuals and effective strategies will be a big step in the right direction.
Share this post: