AHS Wellbeing is celebrating the success of its WellBalanced falls prevention programme in Sussex. Our assessment data has demonstrated that 75% of participants are continuing to exercise, whilst 80% improved or maintained their strength and balance after completing the twenty-four week programme.
Debbie Beesley, Customer Experience & Marketing Director at AHS Wellbeing, said: “People aged sixty-five and over have the highest risk of falling: around a third of people fall at least once a year. This figure is around half for those aged eighty and over. Falling is a cause of distress, pain and injury and leads to loss of both confidence and independence. The NHS reported in 2017 that the total cost for falls among older people could be estimated at around two billion pounds. The outlook for patients following falls is also poor: in the first year following a hip fracture, there is an increased mortality of between eighteen and thirty-three per cent.
“However, this is not simply a problem associated with a fall, it is what happens after that reduces their quality of life and potentially inhibits their lifestyle: the beginning of a downward spiral of social isolation. Running our WellBalanced classes not only saves the NHS money by reducing falls but also has a huge social impact for the older community by ensuring their continued enjoyment of life.”
Commissioned by Mid Sussex District Council, Adur & Worthing Councils and working in collaboration with Places Leisure the WellBalanced Programme is a community-based falls prevention programme for the frail and elderly at risk of falling. The course consists of balance and strengthening exercises, designed to reduce the risk of falls. Patients are referred to the classes by local hospitals, GPs or Practice Nurses.
The classes take place in Burgess Hill, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Hassocks, Shoreham and Worthing. During the Cornavirus pandemic, we continuing to offer both telephone and online support to all our WellBalanced participants.