Amherst Court care home in Chatham, Kent, owned and operated by Avante Care and Support, has hosted its own falls awareness week to educate and raise awareness of the impact of falling and how to reduce falls. Falls can take a serious toll on an older person’s quality of life and independence.

Staff at Amherst Court hosted a falls awareness week in
November, inviting the local community, other care
providers, NHS staff, schools and colleges and experts in Yoga and Thai Chi, to help raise awareness of the importance of movement and exercise for older people and those living with dementia.

The falls week involved every resident in activities,
including sports such as volleyball, football, golf, basketball, Yoga and Thai Chi, and encouraging regular movement and fitness with residents. Family members were also asked to take part in activities to support the week, to educate themselves and most importantly support their loved ones to be steadier on their feet.

Sports that residents took part in throughout the week have now been included as part of the homes weekly activity schedule, with walking football and volleyball
becoming a firm favourite. The staff at Amherst Court are passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of the people they care for and support. One example is Resident Paul, who had a history of falls prior to moving to Amherst Court. In 1964 Paul was an Olympic silver
medallist in speed walking, so his physical decline
was particularly upsetting for both him and his family.
Forward thinking care staff researched how they
could try to work with him to prevent him from falling
and become more active and engaged with
activities. Paul along with three other residents were invited to take part in a five day caravanning holiday where the improvement in Paul’s and other residents’
movement dramatically improved.

Ashley Haydon, Home Manager, commented, ‘All staff have been involved one way or another in activities and training throughout the falls awareness week. We have been delighted to see the positive impact it has made on our residents and to see so many local people and businesses attend learning more about falls and how
they can be reduced. It was a shame the awareness week had to end, but we wrapped it up in style with a football cup final, Thai Chi and a vintage tea dance’.