A PAINFUL foot injury that I incurred while working on Strictly Come Dancing last year really brought home to me how difficult it can be to go about your everyday life when your mobility is limited.
It not only restricts your independence but it is also a significant knock to your confidence.
My injuries were thankfully temporary, but for the millions of older people who have fallen on broken paving, their injuries are often permanent and life-threatening. A shocking 2.5m (26%) people aged over 65 in the UK have fallen to the ground due to damaged or uneven pavements and nearly 3m older people think that the pavements in their areas are sub-standard. As falls are a leading cause of death for over-75s, something must be done to improve pavements across the UK.
Next Tuesday Help the Aged is holding its fourth National Falls Awareness Day, sponsored by Stannah Stairlifts, when councils will be held to account for the poor paving in their areas. Since last year the charity has successfully lobbied a number of councils to improve reported broken pavements within a year. However, Help the Aged needs your readers’ help to carry out this vital work.
A pavement postcard is available that can be used by members of the public to highlight an area of dangerous paving to the local street maintenance service and to the charity. I would urge your readers to order one now to send on National Falls Awareness Day. They are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or in Help the Aged shops. For details of the hundreds of events taking place on the day please visit www.helptheaged.org.uk/fallsday