There are ways you can reduce your risk of having a fall, including making simple changes to your home and doing exercises to improve your strength and balance.
If you've fallen in the past, making changes to reduce your chances of having a fall can also help you overcome any fear of falling.
Some older people may be reluctant to seek help and advice from their GP and other support services about preventing falls, because they believe their concerns won't be taken seriously. However, all healthcare professionals take falls in older people very seriously because of the significant impact they can have on a person's health.
Discuss any falls you've had with your GP and say if it's had any impact on your health and wellbeing. Your GP can carry out some simple balance tests to check whether you're at an increased risk of falling in the future. They can also refer you to useful services in your local area.
Tips for preventing falls in the home include:
- Immediately mopping up spillages
- Removing clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
- Using non-slip mats and rugs
- Using high-wattage light bulbs in lamps and torches, so you can see clearly
- Organising your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum and to avoid bumping into things
- Getting help to do things that you're unable to do safely on your own
- Not walking on slippery floors in socks or tights
- Not wearing loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
- Wearing well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
- Taking care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly and seeing a GP or chiropodist about any foot problems