“The falls prevention sessions have helped me get back on my feet again”Date: 17/03/2022
Village residents have been busy taking part in weekly falls prevention classes to help them regain strength and avoid falling at home.
The once-a-week sessions started earlier this year and run by Stoke-on-Trent City Council. They're helping residents at West End Village and Rowan Village improve their overall health and wellness after COVID19.
The 12-week programme includes a group session and home exercises throughout the week. The exercises are designed to improve strength, balance and help improve the confidence of residents.
Class instructor Angela Pepper explains: “As we get older our bodies degenerate and it makes us lose confidence.”
“Your strength reduces and everyday tasks become tiresome. Often people’s feet drop, making it harder to lift your feet off the floor which can cause trips and falls.”
“On top of that covid has hit older people hard. A lot of people have been scared to go out and have spent a lot of time at home and it’s had an impact on their mental and physical health. “
“Stoke-on-Trent City Council have been running the falls recovery sessions to help rebuild people’s strength and confidence after covid.”
“I love running the sessions. It’s nice to see everyone having fun together. I give residents resistance and strength-based exercises to help them with everyday tasks like getting out of bed. Then when they’re at home they get given a work sheet to do home exercises too.”
“From the outside looking in it might not seem like they’re doing a lot but actually the exercises are tough and will make a difference over time. I’m already seeing the impact the class is making to residents. In five weeks, their strength and flexibility are building, they feel more confident and are even sitting up taller too.”
West End Village Resident Ann is pleased with her progress after doing the sessions for five weeks. She says: “The classes have been brilliant!”
“It was hard at first but I’m so glad I stuck with it because it’s making a difference and I’m only on week five.
“I’ve got arthritis, spondylitis and I had my knee replaced over 15 years ago and I was feeling it go again. As soon as I saw the class advertised, I signed up and was so excited to join.
“It’s great because it’s ran by experts who understand the older body. Whoever the instructor is, they always ask how we’re doing and how we’re feeling and show us adaptations if we struggle to do something. They don’t just show you what to do, they do it with you too.”
“Before I started, I relied heavily on my mobility scooter but the falls prevention sessions have helped me to get back on my feet. I can now walk down from my flat to do the session and then walk back. I wouldn't have been able to do that before.
“It’s not about being able to run a marathon, instead it’s about improving my quality of life and that’s exactly what the class is doing. I love it, I’m really enjoying it.
Head of Housing Dave Allcock says: “Here at Staffs Housing we put our residents and their needs first and give them the tools and support they need to make their housing journey fit for the long term.
“So when we were approached by Stoke-on-Trent City Council about the falls prevention sessions for residents, we wanted to make it happen. We recognised that some residents had isolated themselves at home and had lost confidence so we thought the sessions would help restore that.
It’s great to see that the sessions are making a difference to residents like Ann. I can’t wait to see the transformation after 12-weeks.