Avoidable falls in the home can be reduced up to 69 per cent with the right information and support in place, that’s according to the launch of a new report released today by Trent & Dove Housing Association and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
The report analyses a pioneering joint project between the two organisations that investigated the incidence and causes of avoidable falls among housing associations tenants 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.
One hundred and sixty-one customers received a home visit from Trent & Dove’s customer health and safety advisor (CHSA) between September 2022 and May 2023. These were to houses, general-needs flats, bungalows, and sheltered scheme flats. 55 per cent of customers 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, 90 per cent said they knew more about fall prevention, 91 per cent felt safer at home, 74 per cent took action to avoid a fall at home and 73 per cent felt less likely to have a fall at home. Sixty nine per cent of those in the pilot study experienced a reduction in avoidable falls.
Jules Robinson, Fall Prevention Lead at RoSPA 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.”
Anna Hickman, Head of Health and Safety at Trent & Dove, 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.”