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Ageing Well: Why Older People Fall

Explore why older people fall, discover practical methods to reduce the risk of falling, and recognise when to seek help.

27,729 enrolled on this course

Falling dominoes metaphor for falling people.
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Learn why falls are dangerous and how you can prevent falls in the elderly

Every day in the UK, almost 10,000 people aged over 65 will fall over. A bad fall can have serious repercussions, potentially resulting in injury, broken bones, fear of falling, and social isolation.

On this course you’ll learn why falls are so dangerous for older people, and how to assess and reduce the risk of falling. You’ll discover how to identify the factors that put people at risk of falling, and what you can do to minimise them.

You’ll learn from world-leading experts at Newcastle University, using practical examples to explore how to prevent slips, trips, and falls.

You can find out more about this course in Professor Julia Newton’s blog post: “Falls are not a normal part of ageing.”

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Millions of people fall each year. In the UK alone, almost 10,000 people aged over 65 will fall today. The consequences of falls are far-reaching– affecting the economy, society, family, and friends. But the personal consequences can be severe. We all know someone who has fallen. Falls can result in injury, broken bones, loss of confidence, and social isolation. By taking this course, you’ll appreciate why assessing and reducing the risk of falling is so important. You will explore ways to prevent falls and injury– recognising when it is important to seek help. Whether you’ve fallen yourself, know someone who is at risk of falling, or care for someone who has fallen, this engaging and empowering course is for you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds It will not replace clinical fall services. But we hope will help you manage your risk of falling. OK? Yes. Good. Newcastle University is a world leader in research into ageing. Our Institute for Ageing, alongside the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospital’s Falls and Syncope Service, forms one of Europe’s busiest and largest services for people who fall, blackout, or have dizziness. It is also host to some of the world’s leading clinical experts. We have developed the course with people who have fallen, for people who are at risk of falling, and for those who care for them. Join us as we discover together how some falls are treatable and preventable, and that falls as we age are not inevitable.

What topics will you cover?

  • Identify fall risk factors
  • Recognise factors that could signify serious, but treatable, underlying medical problems
  • Learn more about why falls are important
  • Discover ways of assessing and reducing the risk of falling
  • Recognise when to seek help
  • Explore how to prevent falls and injury
  • Interact with others who have fallen
  • Discuss the important issues falls raise

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe how falls are defined
  • Explore some practical anatomy and physiology to discover how our body stays upright
  • Investigate risk factors for falling and identify your own risks for falling
  • Describe the actions to take immediately after a fall
  • Explore what happens in a specialist falls clinic
  • Explain how to keep bones strong and healthy
  • Describe effective treatments to prevent falls
  • Explore falls research and possibilities for the future

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone affected by falling, or for people caring for others at risk of falling. It would also be valuable for healthcare professionals currently working – or seeking to work – with older people.

What do people say about this course?

"This is an excellent course with some very practical suggestions, great supportive videos and articles. Everyone would benefit from this course."

"it has raised my awareness of risk factors and I am modifying my behaviour to reduce risk"

Who will you learn with?

Julia Newton, Professor of Ageing & Medicine and James Frith, Academic Clinical Lecturer in Geriatric Medicine, Newcastle University & Falls & Syncope Service, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Who developed the course?

Newcastle University

A thriving international community of over 20,000 students. The university’s mission as a world-class civic university means it applies its academic excellence to real-world challenges.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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