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220,000+ people aged 60+ break bones due to a fall

Age UK has revealed the scale of the issue of falls, with over 220,000 people aged 60+ fracturing bones as the result of a fall.

The figures, announced as part of Age UK’s Falls Awareness Week 2012 (18-22 June), show that more than 88,000 people fractured a hip, over 43,000 had fractures of the arm and nearly 17,000 fractured their pelvis.

These are significant injuries and the impact of a fall and the resulting injuries can be life-changing, leaving many feeling
isolated, anxious and reluctant to leave home.

Injuries from falls are one of the leading causes of death for over 75s, but falls aren’t an inevitable part of getting older - specific programmes for improving strength and balance can reduce the risk of falls by as much as 55% and weight-bearing exercise in particular is important in maintaining healthy bones.


Take part in local activities for Falls Awareness Week
Age UK’s Falls Awareness Week (18-22 June) urges older people to take part in a range of local activities, including exercise sessions and information and advice roadshows to learn how to look after bone health all year round.

The Week highlights the importance of exercise alongside a balanced diet rich in calcium and getting enough Vitamin D through sunshine to build and maintain healthy bones, helping to prevent falls and fractures as we grow older.
Prevent falls and keep bones strong
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General at Age UK, commented: 'The impact of a fall can be devastating and the scale of the issue is a real concern, especially as we know that prevention is so much better than cure. Age UK’s Falls Awareness Week highlights this important issue and provides a host of local community events so that older people can find out about helping to prevent falls and keep bones strong and healthy.

'We’re encouraging people to go to an event to find out how to introduce simple strength and balance exercises into day-to-day life to help prevent falls. The events will also look at the importance of getting out in the sunshine and incorporating calcium and sources of vitamin D in your diet. This all helps to strengthen bones to protect you if you do fall.'


Nutrition to maintain bone health
Martin MacDonald, nutritionist for the Olympic Weightlifting and Paralympic Powerlifting teams, is supporting Age UK’s Falls Awareness Week.

He said: 'Proper nutrition and exercise together are fundamental in maintaining bone health. Protein and vitamin D interact with calcium to affect bones, so we should make sure that our intakes of all these nutrients are adequate as well as taking regular physical activity to keep bones as healthy as possible.'
About Age UK’s Falls Awareness Week
During the Week, Age UK will be working with falls prevention services, hospitals and other charities, including local Age UKs, to host events and activities for people in later life.

The Week promotes activities and projects that help to prevent falls in later life – from finding out how to do strength and balance exercises, to letting people know how important it is to get out in the sunshine and getting information on diet.

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