Falls prevention exercise classes are beneficial for older people, according to a report published last month by the Royal College of Physicians(RCP) in the UK. The RCP report is based on feedback from more than 1,700 older people who attended NHS-run exercise programmes that aimed to reduce falls. The results showed that 96 per cent of older people felt the exercises were beneficial, while 95 per cent were either satisfied or very satisfied with their exercise programme. The report summarises that the delivery of evidence-based exercise classes varies widely between healthcare providers, and many patients need to be made more aware that therapeutic exercise can help to prevent falls.
Physiotherapists should be striving to raise awareness of how strength and balance exercises can promote healthy ageing, as well as ensuring that they adhere to the evidence base for exercise. There is still work to be done in raising awareness of the evidence base for exercise in this population and the fact that exercise is more cost effective than any other intervention for falls prevention.