Falls are not an inevitable part of getting older - there are simple steps you can take to stay steady, reduce your chance of falling, prevent serious injury if you do fall and keep up and about.
The four key things you can do are:
It is also important to be safer when you’re out and about and know what to do if you do fall.
It is important to keep active as we get older. There are loads of different types of activity and exercise – choose one that suits you.
To help you with your muscle strength and balance, West Sussex County Council have produced a simple guide showing the Super Six exercises to keep you steady and reduce your risk of falling. Contact you local Wellbeing Hub to request a copy.
Did you know, adults aged 65 or older who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility should try to be active daily. Muscle strengthening activities should be carried out at least two days per week and older adults at risk of falls should do exercises to improve balance and coordination on at least two days per week. Why not try the Super Six?
150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (cycling or walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (running or tennis) are also recommended.
Make sure you get your eyes checked regularly. If you are aged 60 or over, you are eligible for free eye tests on the NHS. Contact your local opticians to book an appointment - some can even come to you!
Take care of your feet and make sure you get them checked regularly. Keep toenails trimmed and make sure you moisturise to avoid painful cracking. See a podiatrist if foot care is becoming more tricky.
The older we get, the more likely we are to be prescribed medications for several different health conditions; its estimates that 36% of people over 75 are on four or more different drugs. Some common ones are associated with dizziness, drops in blood pressure when you stand up or sleepiness - all of which can raise the risk of falling.
Never stop taking any prescribed medication suddenly. Make an appointment with your GP or health professional to get your medications reviewed. Its important they get reviewed every 12 months.
There are many things you can do to make your home safer:
Book in for a free visit from the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service who can help make your home safer.
There are some simple steps you can take to feel safer and more confident outside the home.
It’s really important to tell someone if you fall. Tell your GP, and ask for them to review any medication.
Discuss any concerns or worries with your GP or other healthcare professional if you:
Contact your local Wellbeing Hub and get booked onto exercise classes for older people to keep you up and about. You could also be eligible for a free trial of assistance technology, to keep you independent and at home.
If you do fall and you think you can get up, follow these simple six steps:
Roll onto your side, then push up onto your elbows
Use your arms to push yourself onto your hands and knees
Crawl to a very stable piece of furniture (a sturdy chair or bed) and hold onto it for support
Slide or raise the foot of your stronger leg fowards so that it’s flat on the floor
Lean forwards and push up using your arms and front leg, slowly rising to standing position
Turn around and sit down. Sit for a minute or two to rest
If you fall and you cannot get up: