Older People’s Day: not just for 1 October

Lyn Ankcorn describes how she set up an event at her local GP practice that spread the word about the value of physiotherapy in primary care settings.

At my local practice, GPs do not see patients on Wednesday afternoons, leaving an empty waiting room. This was an ideal place to hold an Older People’s day event. The practice manager is very supportive and wants to make use of this space. As a retired physiotherapist on the patient partnership group (PPG), I had previously spoken about the cost of falls to the NHS and had told them about CSP’s Get up and go booklet. 
The Older People’s Day posters and flyers arrived at the same time as a Care Quality Commission (CQC) was taking place. After an interview, one of the inspectors left knowing there would be an Older Person’s Get up and go day at the practice. The cost of falls, what could be done to prevent falls and the value of primary care physiotherapy had all been highlighted. The practice was rated as ‘good’ by the inspector.
We invited a tutor and their physiotherapy students from the University of Birmingham to help run the Older People’s Day event. This was supported by  the GPs and practice manager, who helped to select the older people to attend. This was a good opportunity for the students to see a GP practice from the inside and was the first Wednesday afternoon event to be held in the new spacious waiting room. 
Those who attended had fallen in the past. Early on, they were given copies of the Get up and go booklets, which offer good advice about falls prevention. This opened up a general discussion about falls and how to reduce their liklihood. The physiotherapy students held an exercise class, going through the the exercises outlined in the CSP booklet and gave falls prevention advice. 
Thanks to the students, the people attending gained a good understanding of the value of exercise and enjoyed the event. The practice manager offered this summary: ‘One of the people who attended last week’s session has provided some very positive feedback, she took a leaflet home to her mother who also suffers with falls. She thought the session was excellent and is now using the exercises as part of daily routine.’
This year, with help from some physiotherapy students and their tutor, practice manager, GPs and PPG, I am putting on another Older People’s Day event at the practice.
We hope this will transform the health and wellbeing of some of the attendees, empower them to Get up and go, through the influence of the student input, and help to prevent the misery and cost of a fall. 
  • Lyn Ankcorn is secretary, CSP Retirement Association 

More information

You can get involved in Older People’s Day events yourself around 1 October. Find out more here
Lyn Ankcorn Secretary, CSP Retirement Association

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