The old adage says prevention is better than cure … Eastleigh Borough Council has partnered with Hampshire County Council to launch an innovative falls prevention programme led by its leading contemporary arts venue, The Point.
Designed to work with residents over the age of 65 who want to be more mobile and/or need to build up strength and balance, the new programme features weekly dance sessions delivered by professionally-trained practitioners at the popular Leigh Road venue.
The practitioners, all experienced in delivering movement classes to older people, worked with nationally-recognised training provider Later Life Training to specifically learn about movement that can help prevent falls and improve strength and balance. The practitioners then combined the evidence-based falls prevention exercises with the creativity and energy of dance to create Steady and Strong dance classes.
Leading the project for The Point is Agent for Dance Inclusion Suna Imre. She says:
‘We know that dancing is for all ages and that it can support and extend movement potential whatever age you are.
‘We are very excited about the project in collaboration with Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire County Council.
‘We really feel this Hampshire-wide initiative may keep many older people out of the hospital for longer and also enrich the lives that lead through social engagement of a creative nature.’
Eastleigh Borough Council’s cabinet member for Health and Community Safety Cllr Tonia Craig says:
‘We’re delighted to be collaborating with Hampshire County Council to deliver this exciting programme through The Point.
‘Falls by the elderly have a serious impact on health and healthcare costs. They are also one of the most common reasons that threaten the independence of older people. The fear of falling among the elderly can lead to depression, feelings of helplessness and social isolation. We are keen to explore ways we can work both creatively and effectively to prevent this occurring.
‘True to form the dance department at The Point has taken the idea of falls prevention and showed itself to be imaginative, innovative and inspirational in supporting new models for health delivery.
‘Wellbeing and prevention of ill health is pivotal to what we want to achieve for our residents. These Steady and Strong dance classes will offer them the chance to maintain their health while building confidence and mental and physical wellbeing.’
The first Steady and Strong dance classes will take place at The Point in Leigh Road, Eastleigh, starting from Wednesday, April 24, 2pm to 3.30pm. Classes are designed for anyone who wants to be more mobile and/or is fearful of falling. For more information, visit www.thepointeastleigh.gov.uk or call 023 8065 2333.