With a few simple steps, avoidable falls in the home can be massively reduced, a housing association working with a health and safety charity has found.
Trent & Dove Housing, working with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), have released a report that analyses a pioneering project the two organisation have undertaken together.
According to the findings, avoidable falls can be reduced by as much as 69%, with the right information and support put in place.
The project and report investigated the incidence and causes of avoidable falls among housing association tenants, and and empowered them with the tools and support to implement personal prevention measures.
This was achieved through educational sessions for customers, staff and community groups, and home visits to help people identify and address hazards.
Jules Robinson, RoSPA’s fall prevention lead – and former Trent & Dove employee – said: “There are approximately 1,500 housing associations in the UK with a reach of 4.4 million households, so we urge all of those to act, and as a starting point, implement fall RoSPA’s Fall Fighters, which is free.
“While housing associations can understand the benefits of putting fall prevention at the heart of their strategies, it can seem like a costly exercise. But there is a strong business case to do so – by assessing tenant needs, they may be able to transition to a smaller, more suitable home, and by receiving lifestyle and safety advice, they’re better prepared to look after themselves and the property.”
Trent & Dove’s customer health and safety advisor (CHSA) visited 161 residents at their homes between September 2022 and May 2023.
The visits were made to a range of property types: houses, general-needs flats, bungalows, and sheltered scheme flats. It was found that 55% of those visited had had a fall in the 12 months before their home visit, more than the NICE annual national averages.
Sixty per cent were reliant on a mobility aid including sticks, scooters, walkers, and crutches.
During visits, the CHSA conducted fall focused home safety checks introduced tenants to RoSPA’s Fall Fighter material and given tailored home safety advice.
After the visit, the report claims that 90% said they knew more about fall prevention, 91% felt safer at home, 74% took action to avoid a fall at home, and 73% felt less likely to have a fall at home.
Furthermore, 69% of those in the pilot study experienced a reduction in avoidable falls.
Anna Hickman, Trent & Dove’s head of health and safety, said: “We are buoyed by our research that shows that we can make a difference to tenants’ lives by reducing avoidable falls through taking relatively simple measures to ensure they feel safe and confident in their own homes.
“Until now there has been relatively little data for those in the housing sector about falls in the home, so we hope our work paves the way for other housing associations that are passionate about saving and improving lives.”
Image credit: Cherries/Shutterstock
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