Falls prevention scheme extends to Guildhall ward

Published Wednesday, 6th December 2017

A successful project to help prevent people falling in their homes has completed over 110 home visits and has extended to Guildhall ward.

The first stage of the pilot project started in Clifton Ward in March 2017 as part of the council’s YorWellbeing Services. The partnership of housing, health and safety experts are now carrying out free home visits and checking and repairing simple trip hazards in homes in Guildhall as well as Clifton ward.

Both wards were identified by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) as having homes with higher trip risks than the city average. This included hazards such as missing stair rails, uneven flooring or poor internal lighting especially for children aged under five and older people.

Visits are arranged and carried out with an advisor with handyperson skills and an occupational therapist. They offer practical advice specific to the resident and their home and can make simple improvements there and then such as fitting a grab rail or fitting brighter light bulbs. Their advice could include tightening carpets or using non-slip mats under rugs or suggesting exercises to help improve residents’ balance. They will also signpost residents to other relevant services.

From March to October this year in Clifton, the team has made many home improvements including fitting:

  • 176 grab rails
  • 43 second banisters
  • four newel rails
  • 41 brighter light bulbs
  • six window restrictors
  • four carpet trim strips
  • 38 items of equipment including shower seats, free standing toilet frames and raised toilet seats.

Cllr Sam Lisle, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said: “This offer of free, preventative support helps to improve the quality of the city’s housing and is supported by partners including the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. I hope the project is as well-received in Guildhall ward as it was in Clifton.”

Cllr Carol Runciman, executive member for adult social care and health said: “Preventing the pain and inconvenience of falling at home is so important. This offer of free professional help and advice to help reduce the risk of a fall in the future is very worthwhile.”

James Lewis, chief executive of Action For Elders, said: “As a registered charity, we work locally in the area improving the health and welbeing of older people with our Balanced Lives Programme. The Falls Prevention Scheme has enabled us to indentify people in urgent need of help, so we are most grateful for the valuable service they provide.”

James Player, deputy chief officer at AgeUK York, said: “This is a fantastic use of resources which is bound to pay off many times over. Preventing falls - which often lead to very serious health problems and loss of independence - by tackling trip hazards with practical solutions is an excellent idea and we really hope that older people, their families and carers will recognise the obvious benefits in engaging with this project.”

To request a free home visit for advice and help on preventing falls, residents of Clifton and Guildhall wards can call 01904 567456 or email reducingfalls@york.gov.uk

To find out more about the service and pick up some advice on reducing the risk of falls, please visit www.york.gov.uk/reducingfalls

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