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Falls Prevention

Falls sap one’s confidence and can cause greater isolation because one fall can make a person fearful of having another one – and so they stay indoors as a precaution.

The Royal College of Physicians estimates that 4 million bed days every year in England alone are required to treat injuries resulting from falls in people age 65 and over.

Research shows that exercises to build strength and provide balance training are the best approach to preventing falls. This type of training can be provided at home, in hospital or in the community. You can read some great stories about how exercise changed older people’s lives on the AgeUK website.

Sometimes, falls are caused by:

  • slipping (bad surfaces)
  • activity
  • eyesight
  • lighting
  • footwear
  • medication

If you suffered a fall because of dizziness or blacking out, it’s important to contact your GP as this requires medical investigation.

What works to reduce falls?

  • Strengthen Your Legs
  • Improve Your Balance
  • Fuel Your Body
  • Keep a Healthy Mind
  • Make Your Home Safer
  • Wear Safe Footwear
  • Check Your Medication
  • Check Your Eyesight
  • Exercise Programs
  • Physical activity for older adults

Where to go for help and information

Start with the NHS advice on Falls Prevention website which provides some excellent advice as well as the next steps for you to take for assessment and training.

Your local health support services can also offer practical advice, support, information and support about equipment or adaptions to help prevent falls in your home. Start with your GP surgery.

Several websites provide sound advice. Here is a selection:

    • AgeUK has some very useful advice, broken down into 7 different areas
    • Ageing Well in Wales has excellent downloadable leaflets covering many aspects of falls prevention

Every local authority and county council has its own support services. For a list of phone numbers to contact, pick up a leaflet at your GP surgery or local health care services centre.