The Rainbow Foundation launch ‘Active Futures’, a programme of free classes for the over 65s to helping improve strength and balance and reduce the risk of falls.

One third of people over 65 fall at least once a year, rising to 50% for those over 80. And from the age of 40 to 70, our muscle mass decreases by approximately 8% per decade and after 70 years that rate increases to 15% per decade.

The Active Futures Project is being funded by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board as they try to reduce the number of falls and hospital admissions, which currently costs the NHS an estimated £2.3 billion per year.

The course is free to residents registered with a Wrexham GP and will take place at four venues, Chirk Parish Hall, Plas Madoc swimming baths, Marchwiel Village Hall, and Penley Rainbow Centre

Geraldine Vaughan, operational manager at the Rainbow Foundation said: "Losing some muscle with age is unavoidable, but we can slow this process down and reduce its effects through exercise. It is also important that we realise that frailty is not a normal consequence of ageing.

"By taking some simple measures, people can stay healthy and maintain their independence as they age, starting with addressing their muscle health at an earlier age, which is why we have developed our Active Futures programme.

"Active Futures is a free course, offering a well-designed exercise programme involving strength, balance and functional exercises, the sessions will be at the right intensity for each individual and should also be enjoyable."

Michelle Jones, physiotherapist supporting the Active Futures Project said: "Physiotherapy input can be very beneficial for the prevention of falls in older people. Reduced confidence is one of the biggest factors contributing to a persons risk of falls.

"Following a fall people can often become fearful of falling again so they may limit the amount of walking that they normally do. This in turn will have a negative impact on that persons muscle strength which is key for their mobility and also helps with their sense of balance...and so the cycle continues and physical health deteriorates until a person is no longer mobilising without assistance."

For more information call 01948 830730 or email