What was the issue you were addressing or working on?
Falls in older people are common and lead to increased anxiety and depression, reduced activity, mobility and social contact and greater dependence on health and social services. There are many risk factors that can be altered to reduce the risk of falls and raising awareness can resulting behaviour change however older people are often resistant to public health messages on falls. Communicating messages in a way that’s acceptable to older people is challenging (Age UK, 2012).
What you did?
Educational resources were developed in Argyll and Bute by the falls workstream on modifiable falls risk for health and social care and independent sector workers. Third sector partners were also keen to be involved. The ‘lunchbox’ resource from the JIT workshop was identified by the falls prevention coordinator and permission was granted by Dr Heather Hall to modify it for delivery by the third sector.
Delivery notes were developed by the falls workstream to ensure it is delivered in a consistent way. Argyll Voluntary Action (AVA) were involved in the development of the notes and in trialling the resource. A focus group of older people provided feedback and wording was changed to provide key messages on modifiable risk.
Leaflets from Age UK were sourced based on feedback from AVA that this would allow the best advice to be passed on to people for them to act on.
The Change Fund has funded this work in Argyll and Bute. The lunchbox resource was demonstrated previously at a JIT workshop and adapted to suit community delivery by volunteers with minimal training. Funding for printing of the resource has been allocated from the falls workstream to make 50 boxes available for dissemination across Argyll and Bute.
The ‘third sector box’ is delivered by Argyll Voluntary Action at present but the plan is to train volunteers to deliver it to their peers to raise awareness of modifiable falls risks across Argyll and Bute. The interactive resource contains key messages and is designed to engage older people in group discussion and debate. The box contains examples of a good shoe, a crunchie and aero (to demonstrate the differences between osteoporotic and normal bone) and wipes to clean glasses. A picture of the box is available here.
What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?
Argyll Voluntary Action had requested that the third sector box should be easily available and printed in a similar way to the other high quality resources that were developed in the falls workstream. A number of the resources have been printed and made available across the area.
The ‘Stay Steady’ presentation resource is available here.
The ‘Falls Prevention- notes for discussions’ resource is available here.
AVA will cascade the resource and its delivery through using volunteers in peer delivery to older people and collate data on the number of people reached