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Free classes now available to help prevent falls among over-65s in Cornwall

People in Cornwall aged 65 and over now have access to free classes aimed at helping them build strength and balance to reduce the risk of falling.

Called Move More, the programme is provided by Falmouth-based company iCareiMove and funded by Cornwall Council’s Public Health team.

It comes as latest government statistics, for 2021/22, show there were 2,395 emergency hospital admissions relating to falls among people over 65 in Cornwall that year. 

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have a significantly higher number of older people than the UK average, potentially leading to up to 58,000 falls annually, with up to 2,900 requiring hospital treatment. 

Move More includes community-based classes, livestreamed and pre-recorded sessions, and ‘Functional Fitness MOT’ events, all designed to promote falls prevention and healthy ageing. It is all free of charge to over-65s. 

Originally launched in 2011, iCareiMove’s falls prevention programme has proved hugely successful with participants reporting significant improvements in balance, strength, reduction and prevention of falls, and overall wellbeing. 

Cllr Dr Andy Virr, Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health at Cornwall Council and an emergency department consultant, said: 

“Falls can have devastating consequences for older people so anything that can reduce this risk and improve their quality of life is going to be hugely beneficial. 

“This is why I am delighted that we can now offer the Move More programme in Cornwall to people over the age of 65, who may be at risk of a fall and what’s more it won’t cost them a penny. 

“I would urge people to take advantage of this offer – not only will it improve your strength and balance; you’ll get the chance to meet new people and in the long run it could also help ease the burden on our healthcare services.” 

Nationally, hip fractures alone account for 1.8 million hospital bed days and £1.1 billion in hospital costs every year, excluding the high cost of social care. 

The World Health Organisation reports that approximately 28-35% of people aged 65 and over fall each year, increasing to 32-42% for those over 70 years of age. 

Helen Tite, Founder of iCareiMove, said:  

"As we age, it becomes increasingly vital to maintain mobility and strength to prevent falls. The Move More programme not only focuses on falls prevention but also promotes overall wellbeing and independence amongst the people it supports." 

To enrol in the Move More programme or for more information contact iCareiMove at or call (free) 0800 054 1118. Referrals are also accepted from social prescribers, GP surgeries, and other professionals.

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