As part of Falls Awareness Week 2023, Sirona care & health is launching a new home exercise programme to keep older people moving and ageing well.
One in three people over 65 and half of people over 80 fall every year, and the risk increases as we become older.
This can lead to further health complications, such as being unable to get back up for significant lengths of time, and can also make people afraid to go out.
Research shows keeping moving helps build people’s confidence and stamina, which are key to preventing falls. Moving is therefore crucial when it comes to keeping independent and improving quality of life.
The Start Today Exercise Programme – or STEP – is aimed at people who find it difficult to get out and about. The exercises can be done in just five minutes from the comfort of an individual’s chair, and people should aim to complete them twice a day.
To promote and explain the programme, Sirona has produced three animations. One demonstrates the exercises, one explains the aims of the programme to older people who may be at risk of falling, and one is aimed at healthcare professionals to help people perform the exercises. These videos, as well as leaflets explaining the exercises and further information, can be viewed here. They can also be viewed on YouTube.
Anyone interested in keeping active should ask a health professional or email email@example.com for more information.
Louise Griffiths, Sirona’s Specialist Falls Service Lead, said: “I’m delighted to launch the Start Today Exercise Programme (Step) during Falls Awareness Week. With so many of us living longer, it’s more important than ever we keep fit and active.
“That way, we can keep our independence and dignity, and we can prevent unnecessary injuries. As is so often the case, prevention is easier than the cure, and by doing these exercises twice a day, every day, older people can carry on living their best lives.”
Donna Thomas, Sirona’s Clinical Operational Lead for Falls, Frailty, and Inclusion Health Services, said: “These exercises are for anyone, but especially for those people who think they are unable to exercise for any reason.
“Try them while sat in your chair a couple of times a day and see the difference they make to your strength, stability and general well-being. Start today.”
Klaudia Wykrota, Sirona’s Specialist Falls Physiotherapist who developed the programme, said: “We have found people who have already tried the programme have been able to get up and about within just a few weeks, making them happier and healthier, and we can’t wait to see more people enjoy the benefits of keeping active.”
In addition to performing the STEP exercises twice every day, people can help prevent falls by:
- immediately mopping up spillages
- removing clutter, trailing wires, and frayed carpet
- using non-slip mats and rugs
- making sure all rooms, passages and staircases are well lit
- organising your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum, and to avoid bumping into things
- getting help to do things you’re unable to do safely on your own
- not walking on slippery floors in socks or tights
- not wearing loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
- wearing well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
- taking care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly and seeing a GP or podiatrist (foot health professional) about any foot problems