Falls and fear of falling have a big impact on older people’s lives. Many people stop going out altogether, and other people reduce their activity so that they are much less active than they used to be. This seems to lead to a vicious circle, where the less people do, the less they are able to do and the more falling becomes an issue for them.
From existing research we know that exercise programs can help. They seem to build up confidence and increase physical strength and stamina. This can help make people less likely to fall, more likely to keep going, and more likely to have a better quality of life. Research has also shown that older people with a visual impairment are more likely to fall than their sighted peers, but that a lot of older people with a visual impairment cannot easily access or join in exercise programs.
Researchers from Northumbria and Glasgow Caledonian Universities asked NSBP and Visbility in Glasgow for volunteers for a study into falls prevention via exercise.
The study was specifically designed for older people with a visual impairment. The study had one group of people who attend a 12 week exercise program that was modified for those with a visual impairment, and one group of people who continued with their usual level of activity. All the people taking part completed questionnaires and a test of limb power, balance and gait at three points over a 6 month period. The design of the study meant researchers could not predict which group people were allocated to as this was done on a random allocation, like the toss of a coin.
The research took place in the summer and autumn of 2015 and is now being evaluated by University colleagues. When we find out more about the results we will publish these on the website
Eye Centre Questionnaire
Newcastle upon Tyne hospitals are very keen to improve visually impaired people experience of their Eye Centre's services.
In partnership with Newcastle Society for Blind People , they have produced a questionnaire based on NSBP members' and Eye Centre staff's views of services.
Colleagues from Henshaws, RNIB and Healthwatch kindly helped to distribute the questionnaire to as many visually impaired patients and carers as possible.
Many thanks to all who responded . The final tally was 44 questionnaires received. The questionnaire responses have been put into a database by Hospitals Trust colleagues.
This is the initial response.
The Newcastle Eye Outpatient Department at the RVI Hospital would like to thank the 44 respondents who took the time to complete and return the patient satisfaction questionnaire carried out during 2014, and would also to thank Newcastle Society for Blind People for helping to develop and organise the distribution and collection of the questionnaires.
Although this may seem a relatively small number of respondents compared to the tens of thousands of patients who visit the eye clinic every year, the information obtained from the questionnaires is nevertheless very useful and is helping us to improve the way we identify aspects of the service where there is scope for potential improvement, and is helping us to ensure the focus of improvement work is aligned with views and experiences of service users.
In 2016 we are going back to Trust colleagues to ask for an update especially in the light of the NHS Accessible Information Standard
We will post any further feedback on this website as soon as we receive it . If you would like a copy to review what the questionnaire said please click here