Falls are not a normal part of ageing

If you think falls are a normal part of ageing, don’t mention it to Professor Julia Newton. She’s one of the lead educators on Newcastle University’s free online course “Ageing Well: Falls.” Here she explains that people of all ages fall over – but the effects on older people are much worse.

Professor Julia Newton and Dr James Frith - lead educators on the free online course, Ageing Well: Falls

Although falls become more common as we get older, it is important that people do not assume that they are part-and-parcel of the ageing process. It is a frustrating and saddening part of my day job to hear people and patients tell me that they are falling because they are old; even more saddening when it is a health professional who has told them this.

Would we put other conditions that are more common in older people down to ageing? Diabetes, stroke disease and cancer are all more common with advancing years, but we would never put them down to old age.

Falls can occur at any age

In my clinic, I see people who fall anywhere from age 16 all the way up to 111. Where age does start to matter, is when the body becomes less resilient to the effects of a fall. The older body is more likely to sustain an injury and the older mind is more likely to suffer a loss of confidence, both of which can have devastating effects.

At Newcastle University and in the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we run one of the largest and busiest services in Europe for people who have falls, blackouts or dizziness. We also conduct world class research.

Reducing the risk of falls

With this wealth of knowledge and experience, I really want to educate and empower people who fall or are at risk of falling. This is why, alongside my colleague Dr James Frith, I have developed this online course.

The course was designed with people who have been affected by falls. This made sure that everything included is useful and provides loads of practical information. We help people take some really simple steps to reduce their own risk of falling, but also provide tips and advice on how to stay healthy and keep independent.

Let’s dispel this myth about falls being due to old age!

To find out more or join the course, visit “Ageing Well: Falls.” Or share your experiences of falls using the hashtag #FLfalls on social media.

Category Learning

Comments (49)

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  • Maria Emilia Pagnozzi de Carvalho

    I have fallen a number of times; as a seventy-six year woman, I am willing to learn more about falls. This course provided some very important information about the issue. I practice some physical exercise, but I should do it more often.

  • rod houghton

    may elll have a interest . WiIL know the next two weeks.

    Regards

    Rod

  • Sarah wheeler

    I’ve learned a bit recently about the importance of strong legs…doing T’ai chi and yoga stretching has helped me a lot especially when I twisted my knee 18mths ago..took a year for that to get better ..helped by the exercises. Looking forward to learning more about other causes and falls prevention

  • Mel Topf

    I am looking forward in taking this course as I have fell a few times; sometimes dizzy or legs giving away. I also blacked out on several occasions. Maybe, this course will help me to determine why I fall and knowing in advance that can happen.