Falls are not an inevitable part of growing older and can often be prevented.
The purpose of falls prevention is to enable people to live as independent and enjoyable a life as possible.
Each year a third of people over the age of 65 have a fall. Many of them were in good health and regularly went out and about.
Although sometimes a fall may be an indication that something is wrong, often it’s treatable. Falls are not an inevitable part of growing older and admitting to falling will not mean any loss of independence.
Understanding the risks and putting simple measures in place can help reduce the risk of having a fall. This includes making changes to the home and doing exercises to improve both strength and balance.
The information below will help you to consider what measures need to be taken to reduce the risk of having a fall.
Advice on preventing falls in the home
- Age UK guide to making your home falls free (PDF 831KB)
- Saga Get Up and Go guide (PDF 3 MB)
- Your ‘Falls-Free’ plan (Age UK guide) (PDF 1MB)
- NHFT guide to reducing the risk of falls (PDF 1 MB)
- NHS Guide to keeping healthy and happy in later life
- Advice from NHS Choices on falls prevention
Items you can buy to help with falls prevention
The Falls Detector is a pendant worn discreetly around your neck and is designed specifically for individuals prone to falls. When activated the Lifeline unit is triggered alerting the monitoring control centre who communicate with the emergency contacts. The Lifeline alert can also be activated manually by pressing the button on the pendant. Olympus Care Services offer a free home assessment to determine whether a falls pendant, or other technology, can assist you to remain independent for longer.
A lifeline is a central hub unit situated within the home. This can be linked to various equipment, such as pendants, fall and smoke detectors. When the equipment is activated, the lifeline unit sends an alert to the monitoring call centre which will contact either the emergency services or emergency contacts and remain in contact until help arrives. Olympus provide the Lifeline in Northamptonshire to adults in need for FREE for 6 weeks so that you can determine, during a trial period, whether the Lifeline assists you with peace of mind at home. Click here to request a free home assessment.
Please watch this short film which explains what is available in Northamptonshire to prevent falls. Gloria, who lives in the county, shares her personal experience and guides you through what you can do to prevent falls.
ACTIVITIES FOR OVER 55YRS PLUS
Getting more active is a great way of helping to prevent falls. We rely on our balance to keep us upright when we over-reach or trip, but as we age our balance reaction times get slower and so do our reflexes. We also lose some of our muscle strength.
Being active is not just about doing exercise, but also incorporating more activity into your day to day life. In particular, exercise to target balance and strength will help to keep you on your feet and reduce your risk of having a fall, such as walking, gardening and fitness classes.
If you are over 65 and feel a little unsteady on your feet and / or have concerns about balance and mobility then the OTAGO Exercise programme could be beneficial.