OLDER people living in Ilkley and surrounding areas are being encouraged to ‘stay steady’ on Wednesday, October 18.

As part of the local falls prevention campaign led by NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), a drop-in session has been arranged to take place at Christchurch, The Grove, Ilkley, from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm.

In partnership with local voluntary and community services, CCG staff will be on hand to talk to people and discuss ways to reduce their risk of falling. Information will be available from community partners including Carers Resource, Age UK and Huntun Tai Chi.

Enid Feather, clinical lead for self- care and prevention said: “We have an increasing number of older people living in our district. Older people are at a higher risk of falling, where around 30 per cent of 65 year olds and over will fall at least once a year.

“We really hope people will call in to find out more about the healthy steps they can take to maintain their strength and balance and ultimately eliminate any risk of falling. We know falls can lead to broken bones and other injuries but they can also lead to people feeling lonely and isolated and losing their confidence - we really want to stop this from happening.”

In the UK, falls are the biggest injury-related cause of death in the elderly and 50 per cent of falls are preventable.

There are ways people can reduce their risk of having a fall, including making simple changes at home. To create a safe environment at home, people should:

• keep paths clear and free of clutter

• wear slippers that have a good grip and that fasten and stay on properly

• eliminate throw rugs; they are a tripping hazard, and

• ensure proper lighting, bearing in mind that vision can decline later in life and with certain illnesses.

More information about preventing falls can be found online. The NHS Choices website is available 24/7: www.nhs.uk and offers up to date and expert advice, as well details of local health services.

A useful staying steady guide, produced by Age UK, can also be found on the CCG’s website under the Your Health section at: www.airedalewharefdaelecravenccg.nhs.uk