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New volunteer programme to help older patients reduce risk of fall

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A new volunteering programme is aiming to bring trained volunteers into the homes of older patients to provide one-to-one support.

The Falls Prevention Community Exercise Volunteers programme is being run by the volunteering service at Kingston Hospital NHS FT, which is funded by the volunteering organisation Helpforce and the Kingston Hospital Charity.

It hopes that this will improve the strength, balance, and mobility of elderly patients, as well as improve their overall health and well-being. This is then expected to reduce the strain on the NHS caused by falls among older patients.

Research from NICE in 2018 showed that the risk of falls in elderly patients can be reduced by as much as 54%, when they take part in exercises focused on improving strength and balance.

Bianca Larch, Community Outreach Manager at the trust, said: “We are delighted to launch this much needed volunteering service to support our patients at home.

“With volunteers supporting patients to undertake a physiotherapy prescribed exercise programme, we hope to see improved strength, mobility and balance in our patients and in turn reduce their risk of falls significantly.

“This programme can really improve the quality of life of our patients by restoring well-being and independence, especially for those waiting to access various community interventions.”

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Source: National Health Executive, 9 September 2021

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