September has seen the Avery Healthcare team bring “Step Up and Stay Up” to the forefront, a campaign designed to promote Avery’s falls prevention programme, which provides helpful information to staff, residents, and families about taking positive actions to prevent falling.
Falling is not an inevitable part of getting older and steps can be taken to prevent it. A fall can affect both physical and psychological well-being, with the fear of falling often resulting in avoiding activities, leading to social isolation, and increasing frailty.
To support the campaign and to raise awareness, Avery residents are challenging themselves to walk a total of 500 miles, alongside staff, relatives, visiting professionals, and community supporters, who are also able to donate their miles to the challenge. They will be sharing their progress across their social media channels during the month.
Well-being teams are supporting residents with meeting their targets with ‘an idea a day to help you on your way (to 500 miles)’. This included activities like ‘World Letter Writing Day’ on 1st September, where care homes hosted a letter-writing activity in the morning, and in the afternoon were accompanied to their nearest letter box to post their letters.
Walking is good for your heart – Walking not only strengthens your heart but reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. In fact, a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day is said to reduce your risk of a stroke by 27%.
Walking gives you energy – It boosts your circulation and increases the oxygen supply around your body, which in turn will keep you feeling alert and awake.
Increase your Vitamin D intake – the best way to increase your levels of Vitamin D is to get outside in the sunshine. Vitamin D is good for your bone health, as well as your immune system.
Walking makes you happy – A brisk walk releases endorphins that stimulate happiness. This is a great remedy for those with depression, anxiety, or stress.
Julie Spencer, Avery’s Care and Quality Director explains further; “Falling as people get older is quite common and can have a detrimental effect on the well-being of those who fall, both physically and psychologically. This can lead to people losing confidence and a reluctance to participate in everyday activities.
At Avery, we promote people to live as independently as possible and look at the person as an individual, taking into how they want to live their life, encouraging them to stay active, eating well and staying hydrated. Staff also ensure residents are supported to wear appropriate footwear, considering medical conditions as well as medications they take, which may increase falls risk. These are aspects that can be multifactorial factors in leading to falling. Staying active, of which walking is one aspect, helps people’s muscle strength and balance to be maintained which naturally lends itself to staying on one’s feet.
It is vital that we work proactively within our teams to minimise the risks and prevent falling within our homes.”
In total, 59 care homes are lacing up their shoes and taking part across the country. Stay up to date with their progress across social media and the hashtag: #StepUpStayUp