As you get older, you are more prone to falling than when you were younger. The health risks associated with falling when elderly can see fractures leading to a reduction in independence and increasing care needs.
A large number of falls are preventable and there are plenty of things people can do to reduce their risk. The CCG wants to improve the health and quality of life for older people by highlighting simple advice and guidance to help prevent falls, and reduce their impact when they do occur.
What can I do to reduce my risk of falls?
- Stay hydrated – aim for 1.5-2 litres or 6-8 glasses of fluid a day (unless told otherwise by your GP). Water is ideal but milk, juice and squash are suitable alternatives.
- Strengthen muscles – improving your strength, as well as balance and co-ordination is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to help prevent falls
- Protect against osteoporosis – do weight-bearing exercises, aim to get outside into natural daylight every day and eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Keep your alcohol intake low and stop smoking
- Have your eyes tested – get your eyes tested regularly and ensure rooms and hallways are well lit – poor lighting increases your risk of tripping over
- Speak to your GP about hearing difficulties – hearing problems could affect your balance
- Wear well-fitting clothes and slippers – clothes like trousers and dressing gowns should be well-fitted and not trail on the ground. Ill-fitting slippers increase your risk of trips and falls, especially on the stairs
- Medication review – if your medication makes you feel drowsy or un-co-ordinated, you can ask your GP to review it. Blood pressure tablets, for example could cause your blood pressure to drop and make you feel dizzy when you stand up.
Watch: Hints and tips to prevent falls - Move it or lose it
Watch: Practical hints and tips to prevent falls – Scott Parish