Falls are a common, but often overlooked, cause of injury and admission to hospital.
Around one in three adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls.
Most falls do not result in serious injury, but there is a risk of problems, such as broken.
Top tips to help prevent falls
The risk of having a fall can be reduced by making sure your strength and balance are as good as they can be. Simple activities such as walking, dancing or taking part in simple exercise programmes can help.
Active Essex have created a guide to help improve your strength and balance whilst at home. This includes tips to help build on your daily wellbeing and alternative ways to incorporate activity into your daily life. This guide can be downloaded by clicking the button below.Download strength and balance booklet
If you think you or a loved one would benefit from an exercise course for older people, or know someone who feels unsteady on their feet, the below websites contain useful information.Staying steady courses in Southend Health balance classes for people living in and around mid Essex
Eating well and staying hydrated
Eating well and staying hydrated are important. If you are unable to stick to a routine in regard to your meals, it is still important that you eat snacks throughout the day to boost your energy. It is also important to ensure you are drinking at least six to eight glasses of fluid a day to decrease the chance of feeling lightheaded and potentially increasing your risk of a fall.Further information on eating well as we get older
Manage your medicines
Some prescribed medications can cause dizziness which can increase your risk of a fall. It is important that you take your medication in line with the advice from your GP and Pharmacist. You should also make sure you have medication reviews with a member of your GP surgery team, particularly if you have experienced any giddiness.Age UK: Getting the most from your medicines
Making your home ‘fall proof’
Many slips and falls happen around the home, to prevent this it is important to look out for potential hazards and how these can be changed to make your home a safer place. Some of these changes include:
- Removing rugs and mats from the top of your stairs, which can lead to trips or falls.
- Installing a night light by your bed or on your stairs, to help your visibility when waking up in the middle of the night. There are also motion activated lights that switch on as and when needed.
- Avoid buying glass furniture as this can sometimes be harder to spot around your house and can lead to fall. It is also important to remove clutter, wires and rugs around the house as this can trip you up when walking around the house.
Good mobility shops have a range of aids that can help reduce falls, such as long handled reachers, riser recliner chairs, perching stools and walking aids.
If you already use a walking stick or frame check that the handles and feet are in good condition and the aid is the correct height for you.
If you require any advice about falls prevention equipment please contact the Essex Wellbeing Service on 0300 303 9988.
Ensure you have sensible footwear
Did you know that unsuitable and old misshapen slippers can contribute to falls in older people? By simply changing your slippers, and selecting the appropriate style, you can reduce your risk of falling and therefore receiving injuries. You should always wear well fitting shoes/slippers that support your heal and have a good grip underneath.
Check your vision
Poor vision or an incorrect glasses prescription could cause you to have a fall. Please ensure you have an eye test a minimum of every two years and keep your glasses clean and well maintained. If they are prescribed for you, wear them.
Check your hearing
As you get older, you may find that your hearing is not as good as it used to be – this can sometimes have an impact on your balance, which can contribute to falls. If you notice any issues with your hearing, speak to your doctor as most of the time these issues are easily treated. If the issue is more serious, you could also be provided with a hearing aid to help you navigate around your home.Hearing Help Essex