Falling On Your Feet To Prevent Falls

People over the age of 65 are being given the chance to put on their dancing shoes for a new project aimed at reducing the fear of falling.

Falling on your Feet is a free bespoke dance programme for people aged 65 years and over living independently. The programme is being delivered by arts organisation Helix Arts, on behalf of the Cultural Spring.

Sessions will take place twice weekly – Tuesdays and Fridays – from 1pm to 2.30pm at Pallion Action Group. The sessions last about 60 minutes, with plenty of time for people to socialise at the end, and the first session will be on Tuesday, September 12th.

Cheryl Gavin, Senior Project Manager at Helix Arts, said: “Falls represent the most frequent and serious type of accident in people aged 65 and over. After a fall, an older person is more likely to have seriously impaired mobility, destroying confidence, increasing isolation and reducing independence.  Costs to the NHS are significant too.

“Older people’s confidence improves when they start moving in time to the music and they build up a range of new artistic skills. They get fitter and their fear of falling can gradually fade.

“Helix Arts produced a pilot Falling on your Feet programme in Newcastle last year, supported by the NHS. Participants’ balance and core strength seemed to improve helping them overcome fear of falling. They wowed local audiences with their performance and they are still dancing together.”

Nadia Iftkhar, Artistic Director of Company of Others, who is choreographing the progamme, said: “You don’t need any previous experience of dance to take part in Falling on your Feet although many people loved dancing in years gone by. We welcome men and women in their 60s, 70s and 80s to our classes.

“It’s a great way to make new friends and take part in an activity that will make you happier and healthier. Dance and movement can improve your mood, your fitness and your overall wellbeing. People are encouraged to come along and dance for an hour and stay for a chat and drink afterwards.”

The sessions are free and anyone interested can contact Cheryl at Helix Arts on 0191 241 4931 for more information or to register a place.

For more information, go to www.helixarts.com

The project is being supported by Rowlands Pharmacy, who will be on hand to provide health advice to participants.