The Gateshead Strength and Balance Service is aimed at over 65 years old, vulnerable, mildly, and moderately frail adults with a history of falls, fear of falling, reduced confidence and strength and balance deficits.
The service is a partnership between Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and Gateshead Council Public Health. Qualified Otago Strength and Balance Exercise Leaders from both organisations jointly deliver strength and balance classes across Gateshead.
Otago is an evidence-based exercise programme that has been shown to reduce falls, improve balance, strength, independence, and confidence for frailer, older people at risk of falls and it is a starting point for moving people into activities that are more challenging and exercises.
The class programme lasts for 14 weeks and on completion, participants can progress to other forms of community-based activities. Free transport can be provided as these group sessions are based at Gateshead Leisure Centres.
All class participants receive a home-based falls risk assessment to identify their needs and some one- to- one home exercise support before the class starts.
The service aims to develop a seamless, joined up pathway with local authority, health and community organisations in Gateshead and promote Healthy Ageing and lifelong participation in exercise and activity.
Read more about the strength and balance classes and what patients think of this new service here.