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Cambridge care home’s outreach programme to prevent falls among the older community

Staff at Home Close residential care home in Fulbourn near Cambridge are helping residents and local community members to stay physically strong in an effort to stop them coming to harm through falls.

The home, based on Cow Lane in the village, hosts ‘Falls Prevention’ classes every Thursday morning, which are open to members of the community as well as the people who live at the home.

Every year, more than one in three people over 65 suffer a fall that can cause serious injury, and even death (Age UK, Stop Falling: Start Saving Lives and Money), so the Home Close team were keen to find a way to help local older people and their residents avoid these types of accidents.

The classes, led by a local physiotherapist and exercise leader, guide attendees through a series of exercises that help provide strength and conditioning to reduce the chance of their falling.

The classes, which have been running for nearly two years, are held once a week for around an hour, followed by tea and coffee. The session involves seated and standing exercises to strengthen muscles that are known to weaken with old age.

Eighty-one year old Shirley French, who lives in the village, has been attending the classes regularly with her husband, Don and she speaks enthusiastically about the effects they have had on her. She said “The classes are just fantastic. Before I started going, I was getting really fed up with the aches and pains I was starting to feel.

“The classes make me feel invigorated and strong, and we practise exercises that involve a real explanation of what we are doing and why they are helping us, which is a great way for us to learn. It’s also a lovely way for us to socialise with other people, including the home’s residents, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone else who would like to stay strong in later life.”

Home Close Manager, Razvan Stanbeca said, “Our falls classes are proving to be a real success. We wanted to find a way to provide a physical exercise class that was accessible and enjoyable to our residents and our older community, to help stop the injuries that are so common with falling.

“The group members tell us that the benefits are significant and I hope that more people will join us to take advantage of this fun and enjoyable session, which could really help prevent falls and other accidents, and the related consequences, that are typically associated with ageing.”

Home Close is part of the Healthcare Homes Group. For more information on the falls prevention classes and other services the home offers, visit www.healthcarehomes.co.uk, or call 01223 880 233.

Peppa Sheridan / Lucy Sheehan
01787 313822 / 07734 865260
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