OLDER people in Andover are getting help to avoid falls through two new fitness and strength classes started at Andover Leisure Centre.

Falls destroy confidence, increase isolation and reduce independence.

After a fall, an older person has a 50 per cent probability of having their mobility seriously impaired and a 10 per cent probability of dying within a year.

But a tailored programme, backed by Waitrose and Andover-based Simplyhealth, to help older people get stronger can reduce falls by 54 per cent.

The new Andover-based Steady and Strong class at the leisure centre includes exercises done standing up and sitting down.

The Ready, Stready, Otago class, on the other hand, is mainly sitting exercises and is an ideal introduction to fitness or for people who can’t stand for long.

Both classes help people get stronger and have better balance, which in turn improves confidence and mobility.

Liz Murray, community development manager for Valley Leisure, said: “We want to help people stay as independent as possible, for as long as possible.

“These sessions are some of the best around and they really make a difference to people’s lives by helping them feel stronger and more confident.”

For more information, contact Laura Thomson, Every Body Active coordinator at Andover Leisure Centre, on 01264 347100.