Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is urging residents to ensure their loved-ones and neighbours are aware of the help on offer during Falls Awareness Week.
It will be working with partners including Cwm Taf Health Board, Care and Repair Cymru and Age Cymru to ensure people have the information they need to help protect themselves or others.
As well as offering advice that could save a fall, the week also allows the partners the chance to showcase some of the innovative services that are on offer to help prevent falls, regardless of their age or personal circumstances.
This includes the Council’s innovative Lifeline and Telecare Services, which allow people to live independently in their own homes, with alarms they can use to seek help at any time of the day or night and sensors that can detect – and raise the alarm – if you fall out of bed or down the stairs.
There are also handy hints and tips on how to stay mentally and physically well and active, which can help increase your strength and mobility and reduce the risk of a fall.
Every year, one in three over 65s – including one in two over 85s – will have a fall.
While some may escape with just a shock or a few bruises, others will require medical attention and even a hospital stay as a result of a fall. As well as causing injury, falls can have a massive impact on a person’s confidence and, long after the physical symptoms have eased, people can feel unsure and vulnerable as a result.
Falls Awareness Week is an important opportunity for partner agencies to share important information that assists safe and independent living.
“It also allows the public to get involved, encouraging them to share the information and advice with loved ones and neighbours who may benefit. There is lots of support and advice available and we urge people to share it with those who can benefit, to prevent falls and the longer-term health and wellbeing issues associated with them.”
Staying Safe in your Own Home
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council offers a Telecare and Lifeline Service which, for a small weekly charge, can make a huge difference to a person’s safety and independence. This service includes:
Lifeline: The alarms allow you to call for help at any time of the day or night, 365 days a year, should you feel unwell, have a fall or need assistance. The alarm comprises a base unit that is attached to your phone line and a shower-proof pendant that can be worn on your person at all times – as a necklace or wristband – that you can press for assistance. The system is linked directly to a friendly operator at the Council’s call monitoring centre, who will establish the problem and arrange help accordingly, whether that is calling a family member or contacting the emergency services.
Lifeline Home Safety Package: This includes alarms and sensors that can detect floods, fires and high carbon monoxide levels. When activated, calls, again, go through to the 24-hour call monitoring centre, ensuring you and your home are protected around the clock, even when you are asleep or the property is unoccupied.
Safe At Home: This scheme includes telecare detectors and sensors that are placed around your home, depending on your independent needs. These include sensors that can detect if you have fallen out of bed or down the stairs, there are even alarms that alert the call monitoring centre if you fail to return to bed after a night-time trip to the bathroom or kitchen.
Find out more
Preventing Trips, Slips and Falls
There are many simple changes you can make to your home environment – from taping down rugs to ensuring you wear the right footwear – to minimise your risk of having a fall in your own home.
Please take the time to check out the useful guide from Care and Repair Cymru and, even if you are lucky enough not to need the information for yourself, take the time to print it out or write it down so you can help a loved-one, friend or neighbour who may need a helping hand.
Keeping well and active to prevent falls:
Age Cymru has some great tips on keeping healthy and active to increase your strength and wellbeing levels, which can dramatically increase your independence and safety.
This includes physical exercise such as walking or gardening or even swimming, which is free for over 60s, thanks to the Welsh Government. Find out what’s on at your local leisure centre.
It is also important to get your eyesight checked and manage your medication, ensuring you speak t your GP if any medicine you are taking makes you feel dizzy or unstable on your feet.
Looking after your feet is also important as they play a huge part in mobility. Speak to your GP for more information.