Anyone can have a fall, but as you get older you are more likely to fall, and more likely to be injured if you do. There are a few things that make you more at risk of falls such as problems with sight, different medications and hazards in your home. Most falls do not cause serious injuries, but there is a risk of bumps, bruises and broken bones. Falls can also seriously affect your confidence in being up and about.
Can I reduce my risk of a fall?
Yes – these are a few tips to reduce your risk of falls:
- Stay active - Exercises to improve your strength and balance or activity like yoga and dancing make falls less likely. Try to stay active and avoid sitting for long periods. If you are worried about exercising due to bone health or osteoporosis look here for more information and exercise advice.
- Look after your eyes - Get your eyes and glasses checked every 2 years, or every year if 70+. Clean your glasses regularly, and put them on even if you get up in the night.
- Look after your hearing - Hearing can affect your balance – if you notice a change get it checked as soon as you can.
- Look after your feet - Wear shoes and slippers that fit well. If you have any pain, discomfort, problems with circulation or loss of feeling see a GP or Podiatrist – these can all affect your balance.
- Manage your medication and speak to your GP if you’re unwell - Some medications can affect your balance – check with your GP/Pharmacist if you have any side effects like feeling faint, dizzy or drowsy. Illness and infection can make you more at risk of falls – speak to your GP or Practice Nurse if you feel unwell.
- Look after your bones - Having strong, healthy bones means you are less likely to be injured in a fall.
- Check your home for hazards - Check your home for anything that could cause a trip or fall e.g. poor lighting, loose rugs, low tables, trailing cables. You can do your own home check using this leaflet.
- Tell someone - If you have had a trip or fall tell your GP or another Health Professional – they can discuss any problems and help reduce your chances of falling again.
What should I do if I am worried about falling?
If you are worried about falling you can:
- Speak to your GP.
- Self refer to Physiotherapy who can help with exercise, advice and walking aids.
- Contact Occupational Therapy who can help with home checks, emergency alarms, and advice on how to reduce your risk of falls.
If a friend or family member has had a fall you can find more information here.