People aged 65 and older have the highest risk of falling, something that can be prevented.
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
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;
- Remove loose rugs and mats in the home;
- Ask your GP for a medication review;
- Have a sight and ears check each year;
- Ensure the home is well lit;
- Use non-slip mats inside the bath or shower;
- Check the rubber ferrule on the bottom of walking sticks for wear; and
- Keep yourself and the home warm.
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.
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.
Prevent falls in winter weather
One of the biggest risks from wintry weather is falling, particularly among older adults. Icy conditions make it harder to stay on your feet, and the cold may cause us to limit our activity, which can lead to loss of strength and balance.
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 ask them to refer you. See the following links for information about local falls prevention services:
Additional information from NHS Choices
See the NHS Choices pages below for more information on falls prevention: