Falls Awareness Week runs every year to promote the services and interventions on offer to help the elderly and their families reduce their risk of a fall.
Advice on Falls Prevention
All healthcare professionals take falls in older people very seriously because of the impact they can have on a person’s health.
Discuss any falls you have had with your GP and mention if it has had any impact on your health and wellbeing. Your GP can carry out simple balance tests to see if you are at an increased risk of falling in the future. They can also refer you to useful services in your local area.
Avoiding falls at home
Tips for preventing falls in the home include:
- Mopping up spillages straight away
- Removing clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
- Using non-slip mats and rugs
- Using high-wattage light bulbs in lamps and torches so you can see clearly
- 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 that you are 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 toenails regularly, using moisturiser and seeing a GP or chiropodist about any foot problems
Strength and balance training
Doing regular exercises to improve your strength and balance can help reduce your risk of having a fall. This can range from simple activities such as walking and dancing to specialist training programmes.
Many community centres and local gyms offer specialist training programmes for older people. Exercise programmes that can be carried out at home are also available. Ask your GP about training programmes in your area.
There is evidence that taking part in regular tai chi sessions can help reduce the risk of falls. Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that places special emphasis on balance, co-ordination and movement. Unlike other martial arts, tai chi does not involve physical contact or rapid physical movements, making it an ideal activity for older people.
For more information see NHS Choices
We would like your feedback on our draft Carers Strategy, drawn up in partnership with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) and Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead Clinical Commissioning Group (WAM CCG).
In the UK, more than 6.5 million people care, unpaid, for friends or family members who are ill, frail or disabled. According to the 2011 Census there are known to be 13,235 carers in RBWM.
This strategy sets out the commitment that health and social care will make to carers for the period 2014-2017. This commitment recognises the crucial role that carers play in the life of the person they care for, the support they require to continue carrying out this role as well as their need for a life outside of caring.
The draft strategy is available to view on the RBWM website, please take a look and give us your feedback using our online form. Your views are important to us.
Please note: the consultation closes on 2 July 2014 at noon.
This year we are working with Bracknell Forest Council to promote cervical cancer screening week from 8th – 13th June to encourage all those eligible for screening to take up their invitation when they receive the letter.
In England, women aged 25-49 are invited for screening every three years and those aged 50-64 are invited every five years. Every year 3000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. However, this cancer is largely preventable as a result of the Cervical Screening and HPV vaccination programmes. Each year 5,000 lives are saved in the UK as a result of the screening programme.
Regular cervical screening provides a high degree of protection against developing cervical cancer. As part of the screening process a sample of cells is taken from the cervix which is examined for any abnormalities that may become cancerous in the future. In Bracknell Forest, 82 per cent of women were screened in 2012-2013 which is higher than the national target of 80 per cent, however this figure masks a lower uptake in certain groups.
- National data indicates that younger women (aged 25-34 years) are less likely to take up their screening invitation and in some areas this could be up to a third of women.
- Recent research indicates that older women (aged 60-64) are also not taking up their invitation for screening.
- Other priority groups who are less likely to take up the offer of a screening test include people from Black and Ethnic Minority groups, people with learning disabilities and those with mental health problems.
Local GP, Dr Anant Sachdev says:
“Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, it is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix. Most women’s test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test will show some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix and which could then lead to Cancer. I would encourage every woman over 25 to get the test done regularly.”
Carers Week is a national awareness campaign that sets out to the improve the lives of carers and those they care for. Next week, there will be a programme of events around Berkshire to provide support and information for anyone caring for a friend, relative or neighbour.
What is a Carer?
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who – due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction – cannot cope without their support. You could be one of the estimated 9,674 carers who live here in Bracknell Forest.
What is the Carers Week Quest 2014?
The Carers Week Quest is an initiative to encourage local communities to work together and reach out to the thousands of carers in the UK who are missing out on services and support. For more information, visit www.carersweek.org/carers-week-quest
Carers Week 2014 Programme of Events
Staff from Berkshire Carers Service, Bracknell Forest Council and other local agencies supporting carers, will be at a number of information stands at venues in Bracknell Forest. If you want advice and information about the help that is available or would like to talk someone about being a carer please come along on the following dates:
- Monday 9th – Friday 13th June, 10am – 4pm: Sainsbury’s Superstore, Bagshot Road, Bracknell, Rg12 7SS.
- Tuesday 10th June, 10am – 4pm: Patient Education Centre, Urgent Care Centre, Brants Bridge, Bracknell, RG12 9BG.
- Thursday 12th June: Bracknell & Wokingham College (advice for students on being an unpaid carer).
- Friday 13th June, 10am – 4pm: Lloyds Pharmacy, Great Hollands Square, Bracknell RG12 8UX.
The popular Carers Lunch for all unpaid carers will be held on Friday 20th June 11:30am – 2:30pm at Easthampstead Baptist Church, South Hill Road, Bracknell, RG12 7NS.
Booking for the lunch is essential and transport and respite care are available. Call Berkshire Carers Service on 0800 988 5462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place and to get more information.
For more information on what’s happening in the area, see our calendar.
For more information on the UK-wide campaign and how you can get involved, visit www.carersweek.org