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Date: 12 December 2018

Time: 16:51

Liz Tomkins and the new grab rail

Working together to prevent risk of falls

Story posted/last updated: 27 November 2018

A campaign has been launched in Solihull to raise people’s awareness of the risk of falls. 

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, Solihull Council, Solihull Community Housing and Age UK Solihull are working together to promote the FreeFromFalls campaign to residents and professionals.

A third of people over the age of 65 and half of those over 85 have a fall every year. In Solihull this could affect about 15,000 people over 65 and 3,350 over 85.

Falls can cause serious injuries and long term complications. However, a large number of falls are preventable and there are plenty of things people can do to reduce the risk of falling. 

Here are our FreeFromFalls top tips:

  1. Be safe at home. Six out of ten falls happen in the home or garden. Be aware of trip hazards such as clutter, worn carpets and loose rugs, poor lighting, damaged driveways and loose paving
  2. Be active. Regular exercise can improve balance, muscle strength, mobility and help maintain bone strength
  3. Tell someone if you fall. Even near misses, loss of balance and trips are important warning signs. Friends, family and GPs can provide help and support to make sure a fall doesn’t happen again
  4. Have regular health checks. Eyesight and hearing tests, medication reviews and foot care help ensure that people remain steady

Liz Tomkins, 69, is unsteady on her feet and has poor eyesight, and is feeling safe in her home for the first time in three years.

And that’s all thanks to support from Solihull Community Housing’s Wellbeing Team.

It’s been dangerous for her to get around the house, especially when having a shower as she was holding onto the shower head.  

After several falls she contacted Solihull Community Housing to ask for help. They carried out a home hazard assessment and recommended equipment to help Mrs Tomkins around the house. They also fitted grab rails in the bathroom and outside the back door.

Mrs Tomkins said: “I am absolutely thrilled with the work carried out and can’t praise the staff enough. It’s a fantastic service that I didn’t know existed for people who are not social housing tenants. It literally made me feel safe. Everyone needs to know about the home hazard checks!”

For more information about preventing falls or to contact the Solihull Community Housing’s Wellbeing Team, please visit the Solihull MyLife website.

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