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Mayor’s Tea Dance to offer free home safety advice

02 February 2018

Attendees at this month’s Mayor’s Tea Dance on Wednesday February 7th will have the opportunity to avail of free home safety advice from members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Community Wellbeing Team.

Home Safety Officers will host a stall at the event in the Guildhall where they will impart advice, promote their home safety message and refer people for a home visit from the team.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, said he was pleased to offer the opportunity for people who may be over 65 or vulnerable to avail of the potentially life-saving accident prevention advice.

“Accidents in the home are a leading cause of death and serious injury among older people so I am delighted to offer our Home Safety Team the opportunity to attend my Tea Dance and deliver their important message,” he said.

“Most accidents in the home are preventable through increased awareness and home improvements so the advice and guidance on offer can be critical.”

Head of Health and Community Wellbeing at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Seamus Donaghy, added that a follow up home visit will be available to anyone with particular concerns about their home safety.

“This is a useful way for us to connect with the public, and older people in particular, to discuss their home safety and what steps they can take to reduce their risks of home accidents.

“Where necessary, a follow up home visit from our team will allow them to provide advice specific to your home and offer safety equipment with the aim of empowering people to better understand the risks around them and make safe choices.

“We can also offer other sources of support and assistance including a referral to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for a Free Home Fire Safety Check through the recently launched partnership agreement between our two organisations.”

One of the key messages at the Tea Dance will be advice and help to prevent falls in the home, a leading cause of death and injury, particularly among older people.

About one third of people over the age of 65 years fall each year, yet around 50 percent of falls are known to be preventable.  

Council, in association with The Public Health Agency (PHA), is urging everyone to identify factors that can increase the risk of falling and take steps to prevent them from occurring.

Precautions include keeping stairs free of clutter, ensuring your home is well lit, removing all loose or worn mats, avoiding trailing leads, non-slip mats, mopping up spillages and repairing damaged pathways.

Homes can also be adapted to minimise the risk of falls with the addition of hand rails at front and back doors, on stairs and by toilets.

Further information on home safety is available by contacting Council’s Home Safety Team on 028 71 253 253.