Intergenerational falls awareness sessions in primary schools

Oliver Williams, Falls Strategy Implementation Lead

 

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

 

This Bevan Exemplar project created a partnership between healthcare students, primary school children and the health board to help older people learn about healthy ageing.

Background

Staying Steady Schools is a partnership scheme between Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University that brings together primary school children, older adults and university healthcare students to learn about healthy ageing and reducing the risk of falls.

Image of two school children talking to an elderly person

Aims

Each school is allocated healthcare students from Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University, who co-ordinate their sessions and lead the presentation on the day. The schools invite older adults to attend the session, who may be relatives of the children, friends of the school or local residents from the nearby community.

Outcomes

During the sessions the children give an assembly presentation based on the national falls campaign in Wales of ‘Steady on stay SAFE’;

Attendees are shown the 6 evidence-based strength and balance exercises from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s ‘Get Up and Go’ document, along with demonstrations of checking walking aids for damage, other major risk factors for falls, ways to reduce the risks, and services that are available in the local area to offer support. Questionnaires are completed by attendees before and after the sessions to gain self-reported knowledge scores regarding falls risks, how to reduce them and what services are available. Qualitative feedback and stories are collected from children, older adults and the university students.

Statistical analysis of pre and post knowledge questionnaire scores has found a significant improvement (p= <0.001) in attendees’ knowledge of falls risks, how to reduce them and what services are available to them.

Benefits of Project

So far 16 schools, 163 older adults, 417 children and 20 university students have taken part.

“We are delighted to support this exciting intergenerational project.”

Helen Howson, Director, Bevan Commission

“Very useful exercises for us older folks and helpful to raise

awareness among the young. They can be the ‘eyes’ for

older people.”

Attendee

Part of cohort Bevan Exemplar Projects 2018-19