This #physiotalk chat will be hosted by Helen Caldwell @caldwell_pt at 8.30pm BST on Older Peoples day – celebrated on 1st October every year. She says:
How often have you heard from one of your older patients:
‘No falls. Well…I sometimes stumble a bit, but I wouldn’t count them as falls’?
What does count as a fall? And why is it important for us to know about them? How can we ask about falls without the negative implications that come from the word ‘fall’? (Research shows that many people consider this topic as only relevant to other people; older and frailer than themselves and can get a bit offended when you ask them).
In the UK, falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in older people. If you or a family member live at home and are over 65, you have about a 33% chance of falling, increasing if you/they are over 75 or have had a previous fall. Falls not only cause physical damage if injury occurs (this is not to mention the pressure damage possible from a long lie), but can massively psychologically effect someone’s quality of life, limiting what they feel comfortable doing. Having a fall can impact on everything from dehydration, as people are worried about getting up to use the toilet, to social isolation from reduced confidence. The good news is that falls ARE NOT an inevitable part of aging and we’re all in a brilliant position to play a massive part in identifying risk factors and reducing these to prevent the chances of a fall.
On Older Person’s Day, what a perfect opportunity to have this tweetchat. It will hopefully get us thinking about falls, what happens in our place of work and to share tips & strategies for prevention. As well as chatting using #physiotalk from 8.30pm you might like to keep an eye of #OlderPeoplesDay tweets over the day as well!
Questions to consider
- In your place of work, who’s responsibility does it tend to be to ask about falls?
- How would you ask about falls, without using ‘the f word (fall)’?!
- How do you assess falls? What sort of things are you asking about?
- What ways do you help to prevent falls? Any new technologies helping?
- What type of exercise do you feel is most effective for frequent fallers?
Missed that chat? Then catch up with the transcript
Our chat host
Helen says she is ‘A Physiotherapist by trade, I’m currently working as Consultant Therapist in Falls Prevention & Management at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. I’m passionate about promoting that falls are not an inevitable part of aging and that it’s not one person’s responsibility to reduce fall’s risk. Everyone can play a part, often very easily, to reduce their risk. Think…making sure their call bell is within reach, their glasses handy, their walking aid not a million miles away! Because there are so many risk factors, I think sometimes people find it a bit overwhelming, but small interventions can really make the difference.’