‘Falls prevention fuel tank’ video launched for Wales falls prevention awareness week

An animated video – Falls prevention fuel tank: when did you last check yours? – has been launched as part of falls prevention awareness week in Wales from 26 February to 4 March.

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The video was designed by Oliver Williams, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s falls strategy lead. It aims to show the risks of falls and how individuals can prevent them.

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Physiotherapist Mr Williams uses the analogy of a car fuel tank to highlight risk factors for falls and things that people can do to ‘top up their tanks’ and reduce their risk of falls.

‘It’s aimed at anybody who has a connection with falls,’ he said. ‘They include people who have fallen or are at risk or falling, their family members or carers, or even NHS staff who don’t know a great deal about the risks falls.’

Mr Williams describes it as a preventive initiative, which he is promoting to GP surgeries across Cardiff and Vale.

He hopes that it will be used more widely across Wales too: ‘We have a national taskforce for falls which has a representative from each Welsh health board, emergency services and the third sector and so we have shared the video with them’.

National Falls Summit

The video had its ‘premier’ showing at the UK National Falls Summit in Cardiff on 28 February.

‘Falls can cost the NHS a lot in resources,’ said Mr Williams. ‘It’s not just attendances at A&E, but the ongoing physiotherapy and potential surgery that patients may need after a fall.

‘Just through looking after yourself and your loved ones and keeping your “tank topped up”, we can greatly reduce the risk of falling.

(If you cannot see the video then click below to watch it on YouTube)

Wales’ health and social services secretary Vaughan Gething addressed the summit and put a personal perspective on falls by speaking about his mother’s recent fall and the effects he had witnessed, particularly her loss of confidence.

Mr Gething also said that the Welsh government was committed to promoting falls prevention in care homes.

Every year in Wales between 230,000 and 460,000 older people fall, according to Ageing Well in Wales, a national programme hosted by the older people's commissioner for Wales.

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by Gill Hitchcock

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