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220,000 OAPs 'break bones in falls'

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Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman is urging pensioners to look after their bones and prevent falls

Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman is urging pensioners to look after their bones and prevent falls

Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman is urging pensioners to look after their bones and prevent falls

More than 220,000 pensioners break their bones as a result of a fall every year, figures have suggested.

Age UK said that in England in 2010, more than 88,000 people aged over 60 fractured a hip, 43,000 broke an arm and nearly 17,000 suffered a fractured pelvis.

The charity warned that falls are one of the leading causes of death in over-75s.

Age UK, which released the figures as part of its Falls Awareness Week, urged elderly people to take part in programmes which improve strength and balance.

Charity director general Michelle Mitchell said: "The impact of a fall can be devastating and the scale of the issue is a real concern, especially as we know that prevention is so much better than cure.

"Age UK's Falls Awareness Week highlights this important issue and provides a host of local community events so that older people can find out about helping to prevent falls and keep bones strong and healthy.

"We're encouraging people to go to an event to find out how to introduce simple strength and balance exercises into day-to-day life to help prevent falls. The events will also look at the importance of getting out in the sunshine and incorporating calcium and sources of vitamin D in your diet. This all helps to strengthen bones to protect you if you do fall."

Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman, who is supporting the charity's week of awareness, added: "I would encourage everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Dancing has really helped me to maintain my fitness levels throughout my life and it really does make a difference, literally keeping me on my toes.

"It makes me feel good and it gives me more energy. I'm supporting Age UK's call for everyone to boost their bones for Falls Awareness Week to help enjoy life to the full whilst staying as healthy as we can."

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: "The Government is working hard with Age UK and the National Osteoporosis Society to improve both the prevention and treatment of falls. We know that these are most effective when social care and the NHS work together, and we are putting in place the legal conditions and financial incentives to drive more joined-up working."

PA