Celebrating National Falls Awareness Week in West Lothian

Watch your step!

Older people in West Lothian are being encouraged to check their eyesight in a bid to minimise the risk of falls.

The ‘watch your step’ message is being delivered as part of National Falls Awareness Week which runs from 20-25 June.

Kirstie Stenhouse, Team Lead Domiciliary Physiotherapy Service, West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP), said:

“Falls Awareness Week will be an opportunity to provide older people with information about the risks of falling and what can be done to avoid falls.”

An information stall on falls and bone health will be available all week in the entrance to St John’s Hospital, Livingston. “We will also be encouraging all older people to make an appointment for a free eye test,” Kirstie Stenhouse continued.

“Although many factors may contribute to falls it has been shown that problems with vision are among the most important. Many older people are unaware they have sight issues and having regular eye-health checks is a simple step that may reduce falls.”

Ellen Glass, Executive councillor for health and care, said:

“Falls are one of the biggest causes of hospitalisation for people aged 65 and over in the UK. Of the 10 million people in this age group, one in three will fall.
“Awareness events like this are crucial in highlighting the risks of falling and most importantly providing essential information on preventing falls.”

It has been estimated that as much as 30% of visual impairment in people over 75 is the result of wearing the wrong glasses or no glasses at all.

For further information on health and social care services delivered in West Lothian, please visit www.westlothianchcp.org.uk

14/06/2011