Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

It Takes a Community to Prevent a Fall

Susan Dewhurst, PhD

Competition Sponsor: UK Research and Innovation

Aim: To develop a community based, easily accessible self- referral tool to identify individuals in the community who are at risk of a fall and/or a fracture.
Vision: For each community to host self-service screening kiosks located with GP surgeries, pharmacies, libraries etc. Older adults, or their friends or family, would answer a series of questions taken from a previously validated questionnaire and be classified as Low, Moderate or High risk of a fall or fracture. All users irrespective or classification will be offered a resource package containing information and activities to maintain good balance and bone strength.
Individuals identified as moderate to high risk of a fall, will be invited to a full fall and fracture prevention health check. This assessment will by a trained fall prevention specialist. This will include muscles strength and balance assessments, bone fracture risk assessment, eyes, ears and feet assessment. Following this assessment, specific recommendations will be made as to how to lower fall and fracture risk.
Where appropriate, interventions will be offered to help to prevent a future fall and fracture. This may include an invitation to our strength and balance class and/or referral to an optician, audiologist, pharmacist or podiatrist. Where necessary, we will liaise with the health service for referral to specialist services such as home hazard assessment or the fall prevention clinic at the local day hospital or equivalent.

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