Anyone can have a fall, most falls are preventable and are not a natural part of ageing but older people are more vulnerable and likely to fall, especially if they have a long term health condition.
Falls are a common, but often overlooked, cause of injury. Around one in three adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these have more frequent falls.
Most falls don't necessarily result in serious injury. However, there's always a risk that a fall could lead to broken bones, and it can cause the person to lose confidence, become withdrawn and feel as if they've lost their independence.
What should I do if I fall?
- If you have a fall, it's important to keep calm.
- If you're not hurt and you feel strong enough to get up, don't get up quickly. Roll onto your hands and knees and look for a stable piece of furniture, such as a chair or bed.
- Hold on to the furniture with both hands to support yourself and, when you feel ready, slowly get up. Sit down and rest for a while before carrying on with your daily activities.
- If you're hurt or unable to get up, try to get someone's attention by calling for help, banging on the wall or floor, or using your aid call button (if you have one). If possible, crawl to a telephone and dial 999 to request an ambulance.
- Try to reach something warm, such as a blanket or dressing gown, to put over you, particularly your legs and feet. Stay as comfortable as possible and try to change your position at least once every half an hour or so.