As you get older, your body becomes more likely to develop health conditions that may result in a fall, if you're not extra careful. Muscles, eyesight and hearing may deteriorate, and you may be taking medicines, which can all contribute to the risk of falling.
Wearing badly fitting or worn shoes, having foot problems and things in the home such as loose rugs, trailing wires and other trip hazards, all make falls more likely. Download our Fall Stop leaflet here. It has lots of tips on staying safe from falls and local contact numbers for organisations who can help you.
If you fall and break a bone, you may find that you won't be able to cope with living in your own home. It makes sense that you reduce your risk now, so complete the Falls Risk Assessment Tool which you can download here. It will guide you to getting the right help to stay independent. You can find more information and advice on our preventing a fall page
If you are worried about your balance there are Stay Strong Stay Steady community classes available across the county - click here to download the leaflet. Balance and Safety classes are also run by rehabilitation teams at local Community Hospitals.
Preventing a fall
If you are not very active you are likely to have poorer balance and weaker muscles as you get older.
Did you know that if you are active you are less likely to have a fall, and less likely to break bones if you do fall? Download our Fall Stop leaflet here. It has lots of tips on staying safe from falls and local contact numbers for organisations who can help you.
Be physically active every day, don't sit for long periods; get up and walk around. Even gentle exercise like walking can make a difference and some activity classes are especially designed to help improve your balance and strength, for example Tai Chi.
Stay Strong Stay Steady community classes are available across the county - click here to download the leaflet. For information about activities and classes in your area, visit the Zing Somerset website or contact Age UK Somerset.
If you have concerns about your balance speak to your doctor or complete the Falls Risk Assessment Tool which you can download here. It will guide you to getting the right help so you stay independent. You can also contact Somerset Partnership's Integrated Rehabilitation Service.
Things to think about
- Some medicines can make you feel faint, dizzy, sleepy or unsteady. If you have any concerns contact your pharmacy or doctor for advice.
- If you are over 65 your doctor should review your medicines at least every year
- Foot problems or ill-fitting and worn-down shoes put you at greater risk of losing your balance
- Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes, possibly with Velcro fastenings, and avoid loose slippers
- A chiropodist or podiatrist can help make sure your feet are healthy
- Poor eyesight can lead to slips, trips and falls, especially in poor lighting
- Have your sight checked every year
- Make sure all areas of your home are well lit will help prevent accidents
Balance and dizziness
- Standing up quickly may cause dizziness due to a drop in blood pressure
- If you feel dizzy when you sit or stand make sure you get up slowly
- Drink regularly to keep well hydrated
- Ask your doctor or practice nurse to check your blood pressure and your medicines
Concentration and memory
- Poor concentration and memory problems can put you at risk of a fall
- Poor appetite or not eating properly can affect your concentration and memory
- If you are worried about having a fall, this will affect your concentration
- Talk about your worries, or fear of falling, with a relative or friend
- Your doctor can check for any underlying reason for poor memory or concentration
Frequent or urgent visits to the toilet
- Rushing to the toilet can lead to a fall
- Don't be embarrassed if you have problems with your bladder - talk to your practice nurse or doctor
- Not drinking enough can make problems worse
- Avoid too much caffeine or alcohol, which aggravates your bladder
- Talk to your doctor if you have bowel problems or changes to your bowel habits
- At night, always turn on a light if you get out of bed, or leave a light on
- If you have a community alarm wear it at all times
Find more information to help you.