Selston pensioner Hilary overcomes fear of falls

NMAC12-0927-1''Hilary Harrison pictured in her garden
NMAC12-0927-1''Hilary Harrison pictured in her garden

LAST year, Selston pensioner Hilary Harrison was too frightened to leave the house after suffering a series of falls.

“I had no interest in going out. I didn’t want to do anything,” the 74-year-old said.

“I felt as if I couldn’t pick my feet up or do anything.”

Now Hilary enjoys a full and active life, thanks to the help she received from senior occupational therapist Julie Napper and Assistant Practitioner Mandy Dixon from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, along with her GP.

Hilary said: “I even have the confidence to drive to the gym. You meet people who are in the same situation as you.”

And she is full of praise for Julie and Mandy, saying that they do ‘a marvellous job’.

“I can’t give these girls more credit,” she added.

Hilary was referred to the service by her GP - and this was the first step on her road to recovery.

Julie said: “I came out to see Hilary and I found there were things we can do around the house, particularly with the stairs.

“We arranged to have stair-rails put in and a grab rail in the shower.”

The service receives around 90 to 100 referrals from the Mansfield and Ashfield areas each month.

Something that can really boost a person’s confidence after a fall might be taking a few simple steps to reduce the risk around the home.

Julie said: “We look at fall hazards and we can give advice on ways of making the home safer.”

And she added: “We can’t completely eliminate falls but we can reduce the risk, including keeping active, keeping healthy, eating healthily and looking after your general health.”

As well as making sure the home is safe, some of the people referred to the service are also encouraged to do simple home exercises to increase their fitness and restore their confidence.

Mandy, who helped Hilary with this part of her recovery and has described her as ‘very committed’, said: “We start them off on their exercises and we work slowly.”

Hilary went on to attend the balance group at Ashfield Health Village in Kirkby.

Although Hilary has now completed her treatment, she is still in contact with Julie and Mandy.

“We do stay involved for about six months. We don’t just leave them,” said Mandy.

Anyone concerned about falls, should speak to their GP.