Online course in Health & Psychology

Ageing Well: Falls

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

  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Weekly study 2 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $79 Find out more

Why join the course?

Every day in the UK, almost 10,000 people aged over 65 will fall down. The personal costs are staggering, with falls resulting in injury, broken bones, fear of falling, and social isolation.

People fall because of a complex mix of factors. To reduce falling, it is important to identify these factors, and recognise those that could signify serious, but treatable, underlying medical problems.

This interactive course will enable you to:

  • Learn more about why falls are just so important
  • Discover ways of assessing and reducing the risk of falling
  • Recognise when to seek help
  • Explore how to prevent falls and injury

During the course, we will meet people who have been affected by falls through a series of video case studies, and discuss together the important issues they raise, which we hope will be informative, practical and enlightening.

We will draw on the knowledge and experience of world leading experts at Newcastle University through our Meet the Experts series. This includes work with the award winning Falls and Syncope Service (FASS) at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary - the largest unit of its kind in Europe, recognised internationally for its innovative work in the field of falls and blackouts.

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

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsMillions 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 secondsIt 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

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 22 Jul 2019

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?

Whether you have been affected by falls yourself or care for someone who has, this course will help you understand what you can do to prevent falls and also what you can do if you have experienced a fall.

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 and James Frith

Julia Newton and James Frith

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?

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.

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