With falls prevention tips, and local activities and support for those over 65, you can help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls.
30 per cent of people older than 65, and 50 per cent of people older than 80, are at risk of falling at least once a year. As well as injuries from the fall itself, people who fall can also suffer psychological problems, such as a loss of confidence and fear of falling again, loss of mobility, an increase in dependency, hypothermia, pressure-related injuries and infection.
To find out if you are at risk of falling, you can take a simple test to see whether it might be a good idea to discuss the risk of falling with your GP.
There are several easy things that you can do to reduce the risk of a fall.
|check that slippers and shoes fit properly||keep the home clutter free|
|ask your GP for a medication review||remove loose rugs and mats|
|have a sight and hearing check each year||make sure the home is well lit|
|check the rubber ferrule on the bottom of walking sticks for wear||use non-slip mats inside the bath or shower|
|dress warmly in cool or cold weather||keep the home warm|
Local support and services
If you fall you should always consult your doctor, who may refer you to the falls prevention service in your area to help prevent falls in the future. The service can also be accessed through your district nurse, podiatrist, warden, social worker or care manager, along with some local voluntary organisations, such as Age UK. If you have regular contact with one of the above, you can ask them to refer you.
- Strong and Steady is a 12-week programme designed to encourage people to become more active and reduce the risk of trips and falls. Delivered by friendly, qualified instructors, the specialised programme aims to improve balance and strength, increasing confidence and improving ability in everyday tasks.
- Harrogate District falls prevention service is based at Harrogate hospital and the Hambleton and Richmondshire falls prevention service is based in Northallerton. You can contact your GP to be considered for referral for an assessment, which can lead to referrals to other health professionals, advice about safety in your home or equipment you could use, and other support to help you stay healthy and independent.
- The falls prevention service for Craven is based in Skipton and provides a community service across North and South Craven. A falls screening and referral form can be used by all health and social care agencies in Craven and your GP can refer you for a full falls assessment. If you have falls assessment you will receive support and information to reduce your risks of falling in the future.
Age UK have published a strength and balance exercises for healthy ageing document, to help you keep fit and reduce the risk of a fall.
You can read our tips for preventing falls in winter weather.
Also, see the NHS Choices pages below for more information on falls prevention: