A YEAR after Hampshire County Council’s Older People’s Well Being Team and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust teamed up positive results are being seen.

Teaming up with the aim of preventing falls and keeping older people independent for as long as possible, 400 people a week now attend “Steady and Strong” community exercise classes around the county.

There are social as well as physical benefits to going along to a class and meeting other people regularly.

At the start of the project there were no classes on offer in four districts within Hampshire, but as a result of development work by the council’s Older People’s Wellbeing team, many new classes have started and 15 new instructors have been trained in Hampshire to run falls prevention classes.

There are now over 40 classes running across the county with plans to start up more during the next year.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: “Steady and Strong classes have proved very effective in helping people to regain and maintain their confidence; this is so vital as older people who are not physically active are less able to do every-day tasks and so are more likely to need support and care.

“Exercise is one of the most important factors in preventing a fall. This is just one of the schemes run by the Older People’s Wellbeing Team in Hampshire aimed at helping people to stay independent, reduce isolation and loneliness and increase confidence.”

Anyone interested in Steady and Strong classes can ask their GP or health professional about them or check the list of classes available at www.hants.gov.uk/betterbalance.

Alternatively, call Hampshire’s Falls Prevention and Physical Activity Co-ordinator Sophie Jevons on 01962 846605. Please make contact with the class instructor before attending a Steady and Strong session for the first time.