Age UK comment on new guidleines for falls
Published on 13 January 2011 11:00 AM
Commenting on the first update of the American Geriatrics Society and the British Geriatric Society's guidelines on preventing falls in older persons, Andrew Harrop, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Age UK, said:
'Age UK welcomes these new guidelines, which will help position the issue of falls amongst people in later life firmly in the spotlight. Every year, 3.4 million people over 65 suffer a fall that can cause serious injury, and even death . However, as these guidelines demonstrate, falls can be prevented.
'With research showing that programmes for improving strength and balance can reduce the risk of falls by as much as 55 per cent , the recommendation that interventions for preventing falls should include an exercise component is particularly welcome. We urge that all exercise programmes are evidence-based.
'Currently there are large variations in the quality of falls prevention services provided across the UK and it is crucial that these guidelines are put into practice to ensure that future falls are prevented. The Age UK campaign Stop Falling: Start Saving Lives and Money is calling on all those responsible to work together to improve access to falls prevention services to all people in later life who are at risk of falling. For more information, please visit www.ageuk.org.uk/fallscampaign
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Notes to editors
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Age UK is inspired by the belief that it can improve the lives of people in later life. It celebrates ageing and believes it presents unprecedented opportunities and challenges at home and abroad. Age UK will challenge ageist prejudice in society, provide services that address market failures and support the public and private sectors to design age-friendly products and services. It will support people to remain in their own homes through campaigning and practical services and its Information and Advice service will offer millions of people support on a range of issues from claiming benefits to staying fit and healthy.
Age UK will fund biomedical research that helps tackle the ill health and poor quality of life that are too common as people age. Working with over 350 partners across the country, Age UK helps influence local decisions and delivers the most appropriate services. Its network of over 475 shops will act as a focal point for the local community, providing information and help with local services. Age UK works across the globe as well as in the UK, with its international partner, Help Age International, championing older people's rights and needs and as an active member of the DEC.
- Masud T, Morris RO. 2001. Epidemiology of Falls. Age and Ageing, 30-S4:3-7
- Specific programmes for strength and balance have been shown to reduce the risk of falls by as much as 60 per cent, Skelton, 2001
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