Building up your stability
Falls in the home can be very common amongst older people. There are many things that may increase your chance of losing balance, feeling dizzy and falling over. Most falls are preventable and are not a natural part of ageing. Many older people will hide their falls as they fear interference and losing their independence.
However, by taking a few simple steps pain, injury and even hospitalisation can be avoided.
Improving your balance
People with osteoporosis or at risk of fractures are more likely to break bones as a result of a fall so improving your muscle strength and balance can help to keep you safe and steady on your feet.
Once you feel steadier your confidence will grow - we know that people who are less fearful are less likely to fall.
Information for carers or family
When visiting older people in their homes be aware of potential hazards, a simple home safety check can establish the risks.
- Do they wear old, worn out or loosely fitting slippers?
- Are there trailing cables, trip hazards or loose mats?
- Is the lighting adequate especially in hallways and on stairways?
- Does the older person use a stool to change a light bulb or take down curtains?
- Do they have banisters or handrails where they need them?
- Do they need a shower seat or a non-slip bathmat?
- Does the older person take regular exercise – would they like to?
- Do they take medications and how often do they review this with their GP or local pharmacist? Older people usually take more than one medication which can increase the risk of falls due to the side effects of drugs. Arrange for them to visit their GP or local pharmacist for a medication review which should ideally be every six months.
- How often do they have their eyesight tested? Arrange for them to have their eyesight checked regularly. Anyone over 60 is entitled to a free NHS funded eyesight test at their local optician.
- Do they have a ten year ‘toast proof’ fire alarm? You can request a free Home Fire Safety Check and smoke alarm from the local fire brigade. They will come to the person’s home to advise on exit routes in the event of fire and will fit a free smoke alarm if necessary.
How can we help?
Our service offers community exercise classes throughout mid Essex for people who want to improve their strength and balance, to increase their confidence in mobilising and help prevent falls. For other areas of Essex, we will refer you to the appropriate support service.
Get in touch
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