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Falls Prevention Initiative keeps older people on their feet


Keeping people on their feet has been the focus of a new set of exercise classes being provided in the New Forest.

Group of elderly women

The joint initiative between SHFT, GetFit121 and New Forest District Council (NFDC) is aimed at older people who are experiencing balance difficulties.

Sue Morris, Falls Prevention Co-ordinator, said “The exercises are evidence based to reduce the risk of falls and are aimed at improving balance and helping to improve confidence in carrying out daily routines. The classes combine a range of mobility, resistance and flexibility exercises in a fun and sociable atmosphere.

Our Community Care Teams currently provide Postural Stability Instructor (PSI) classes for 12 weeks but the evidence shows that people need to continue the exercises for at least 24 weeks to get maximum benefit. After completing the Trust course, patients are encouraged to join a community class run by GetFit121 or NFDC. The classes are also ideal for people who are unsteady but have not yet fallen”.

Early results from the classes over the past nine months show improvements in participants’ mobility enabling easier standing up from sitting and an improvement in confidence.

Classes are currently available at:

  • Barfields, Lymington, Wednesdays at 10am and 11am

  • Quaker Court, Ringwood, Thursdays at 10am and 11am

  • Riverside Court, Fordingbridge, Tuesdays at 1.30pm 

  • West Totton Centre, Totton, Mondays at 2.00pm

  • Hythe Medical Centre, Mondays at 10.30am

  • Lymington Health and Leisure Centre, Pennington, Thursdays at 1.45pm

  • Homeford House, Brockenhurst, Fridays at 11.45am 

  • Milford Hospital on Wednesdays at 11am.

Classes are also planned at:

  • Gang Warily, Blackfield on Friday pm (due to start in April)

  • New Milton (currently identifying a venue).

For more information, or to refer to a class please contact:-
Gilly Ostler on 07817 233 707 for most of the above classes or
Tony Winslow on 0845 659 0845 for the Lymington Health and Leisure Centre class.

Classes are also running across other areas of the West region following partnership working with Louisa Rice at Test Valley Borough Council and Lorraine Ronan at Winchester City Council including:

PSI classes in the Test Valley area (Contact Gilly Ostler, as above):

  • British Legion Club, Romsey, Tuesdays at 9.45am

  • Wakeford Court, Romsey, Tuesdays at 10.45am (residents only) 

  • Gainsbrough Court, North Baddesley, Thursdays at 2.30pm

  • The Phoenix Centre, Andover, Saturdays at 10.00am (Contact Adi Phillips on 07737 824837)

Further classes are planned in Andover and in the middle of the Test Valley Borough.

  • PSI classes in the Winchester area (contact Simon Weatherall on 07738 737884)

  • Lisle Court, Stanmore, Winchester, Wednesdays at 3.00pm

  • Richard Moss House, Winchester, Thursdays at 10.30am

  • Harwood Place, Kingsworthy, Thursdays at 2.30pm.

PSI classes in the Eastleigh / Winchester area (contact Mandy Moore or Jacqui Hewitt on 01962 713444 or 02380 360625)

  • The Pavillion, Eastleigh, Mondays at 10am

  • Winchester Live at Home Scheme, Jewry Street , Winchester, Tuesdays at 10.30am and 11.45 am

  • The Hilt, Hiltingbury Road, Chandlers Ford, Mondays at 11.30am (Commencing 16 April).

A PSI course is currently taking place. This has been organised by Sophie Jevons, Hampshire County Council’s Falls Prevention Physical Activity Co-ordinator and there are 8 attendees from Hampshire. The plan is to roll out more community PSI classes across the rest of Hampshire to fill the existing gaps. Sophie Jevons will be working with the SHFT Falls Prevention Coordinators to achieve this.

Related information

Falls advice