Bournemouth University and Osteoporosis Dorset have launched a new alliance to help prevent falls in older people living in Dorset. The Dorset Alliance to Prevent Falls and Promote Independence (Dorset APP) will bring together a number of complementary organisations in the Dorset area to work more effectively to prevent falls in the elderly.
It is hoped the Alliance will help to reduce the NHS costs associated with falls among older people by reducing hospital admissions and will enable members to be better informed of what initiatives are already in place within the region.
David Rhys Jones, Health Communications Manager at Osteoporosis Dorset, said that the alliance will drive forward the common goals of preventing falls and fractures among older people across Dorset.
The Dorset Alliance will promote the importance of exercise to prevent falls, increase health related quality of life and the ability of older people to live independently.
Organisations who have already signed up to the Dorset APP include all of the main hospitals in the region, Age UK Bournemouth and Dorchester, Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust and Bournemouth Older People’s Forum.
Members will be able to work together to share ideas of how to improve best practice, and evaluate and research the effectiveness of care older people receive after a fall, particularly with respect to regaining fitness and confidence.
The Alliance also aims to ensure older people have easy access to the best information possible about exercise and improving balance through a variety of sources, to maintain and enhance their quality of life by ensuring they are fitter and less worried about falling.
It will also listen to older people to find out more about the difficulties they face in maintaining fitness – with a view to improving services and information.
Dr Samuel Nyman, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Bournemouth University, said that the alliance will help drive research forward and put evidence into practice. He said:
The Dorset Falls Alliance will provide a forum in which new ideas for future research can emerge and be tested, and for research evidence to be more effectively applied in the local region.
He added this could include initiatives such as a new BU website Fresh Balance to encourage older people to do strength and balance training to prevent falls.