Ambulance staff are launching a campaign to reduce the number of preventable falls this winter.
The South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) said paramedics were called to more than 3,400 falls in the last two weeks of December 2013 but only about 1,000 resulted in a trip to hospital.
The calls, which equate to about 200 a day, exclude falls from height and often relate to the elderly who have fallen at home and who, although uninjured, are unable to get back to their feet. SEACamb will take to Twitter this month to offer some useful tips for older people and their friends, families and carers.
Throughout the week on Twitter via @SECAmbulance and the hashtag #wallopwinter the Trust will offer tips on how to reduce the chances of a fall. SECAmb’s Peter Glover helps manage SECAmb’s proactive approach to reducing falls in the community. He said, “We really want raise awareness of falls prevention among the public. Our staff work hard every day to highlight to the falls teams across our region where improvements can be made and their GPs are informed but everyone can help. Perhaps there’s a loose bit of carpet in yours or an elderly friend or relative’s house. Arranging a quick fix could prevent a nasty fall.
“And if you or someone you know has started to feel a little less steady then it’s important to discuss the issue with your GP. By raising awareness and asking people to act we hope we can reduce the number of people who need the help of the ambulance service or hospital teams this Christmas and throughout the winter.”
Tips to prevent falls include speaking to your GP who can run some simple balance tests to gauge your risk of falling, wearing the correct footwear, to keep walk-ways clear, fix loose carpets and to exercise to improve balance.