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Specialist winter advice event hailed a success

A successful event has been held by experts to showcase what people can do to reduce their risk of falls and retain their independence.

Dr Juanita Pascual and Patricia Lambourn

‘Medicine For Members’ was held at Parklands Hospital, Basingstoke, on Monday evening, by specialists from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

It was the first event of its kind to be held at the hospital, following a successful session at Lymington New Forest Hospital in the New Forest.

Juanita Pascual, Consultant Geriatrician, and Jill Phipps, Falls Prevention Lead, gave talks on staying warm, fit and independent.

Those who attended received specialist advice on simple steps they can take to stay fit, active, reduce their risk of falls, keep well in winter and stay independent for longer.

Following the talks, the visitors were able to have one-to-one chats with Juanita and Jill and to try out a range of Functional MOT tests for fitness and mobility, which included a handheld dynamometer, measuring grip strength.

Patricia Lambourn, 83, from Tadley, attended the event with her 82-year-old husband Brian. Mrs Lambourn said: ‘I have Osteoporosis and I had a knee operation a year ago. I’ve got an exercise bike but with winter you don’t have the energy, and I confess I’ve not been using it.

‘Now I’m quite determined, after seeing what can be done. It’s up to yourself to do it [exercise] but it helps to have these sort of events to give you the incentive. It’s wonderful that people like this are prepared to spend their time. We will certainly come to every event.’

Trust governor Sue Smith and lead governor Andrew Jackman also attended.

Jill Phipps, who gave a talk on falls prevention, said: ‘Falls are not a normal part of getting older, although the risk does increase with age. A fall in an older person is an indication of an underlying health matter and that is why they must be taken seriously and a falls assessment carried out to identify reasons for the fall.

‘Top tips to reduce your risk of falling include checking your home for slip and trip hazards, getting your eyes tested regularly, making sure you have well-fitting footwear, asking your GP for a medication review and undertaking a regular exercise programme.’

Dr Pascual said: ‘Simple steps such as staying active, eating healthily, learning to spot signs of different conditions and acting on them early can help older people retain their independence for longer. We aim to equip people with the tools they need to help them do just that.’

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