Staying Steady

StayingSteadyLogoStaying Steady is a community-based exercise and education programme implemented city-wide in Newcastle-upon-Tyne as part of a strategy to prevent older people falling and preventing fractures.
Using a fitness instructor, older people exercise both in groups and with individual exercises at home; a physiotherapist also assesses them at home, looking at particular risks and needs, and referring them for more specialised help where needed.
It is just one programme using the Falls Management Exercise (FaME) intervention, which has been proven in the US and the UK, with a Random Clinical Trial (RCT) in the UK in 2008. Key parameters in the programme have been tested – for example, showing that the programme needs to be a minimum of 36 weeks, but the effects have been proven. For example, after 36 weeks, the fall rate in the exercise group was reduced by one-third. Over the entire study, which included a 50-week follow-up period, the fall rate was reduced by 54 per cent.
Preliminary results in Newcastle support these findings: “I went to the shops the other day and when I got there I realised I had forgotten my walking stick”
Falls and fractures account for around 4m hospital bed days a year in England, at an estimated annual cost of £2billion.

Silver Cyclists

SustransLogoSilver Cyclists helps people aged 50+ to improve their physical and mental wellbeing through cycling.
Silver Cyclists provides training, group rides, classes in bike maintenance and route planning guidance to get more older people out on their bikes. The Stockton based group is part of Sustrans Active Travel Programme and is designed for cyclists of all abilities, and is run by experienced cycle leaders and trainers.
In the future Sustrans hope to work with Housing 21 to get more residents of sheltered housing to become Silver Cyclists, by providing local travel champions to help older people plan new routes and transport for everyday tasks and feel confident about using public transport and bikes.
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casseroleLogoCasserole is a new social enterprise that brings people together through the simple act of sharing a meal. The service enables people to share extra portions of home-cooked food with others in their area who may not always be able to cook for themselves. Sharing food strengthens local relationships, reconnects people in their neighbourhood, and tackles social isolation and loneliness among older/less physically mobile people.

Casserole makes it easier for people to give: it’s as easy as making an extra portion while cooking a meal. The service completely rethinks traditional meals services – using the web to make it easier to be involved in informal community care, and using food as a social currency to help build new friendships. It’s already helping connect older people with neighbours they wouldn’t otherwise meet.

Run by FutureGov, a social innovation and technology company that works with local government to develop better services, the first pilot began in Reigate and Banstead in Surrey at the beginning of 2012, with funding from the Technology Strategy Board and Design Council’s Independence Matters programme. The team is now partnering with Tower Hamlets Council to establish a second pilot, improving the site technology and developing a sustainable, scalable model that can be implemented throughout the UK.

For further information see: