Anyone can fall, but older people are more vulnerable than others. This is mainly because long-term health conditions increase the chances of someone falling.

Why might I fall?

The main reasons why an older person may fall are:

  • The most common reasons for accidentally falling or slipping are environmental, such as; wet or recently polished floors, dim light, rugs or carpets that are not properly secured, reaching for storage areas, such as cupboards, using the stairs or poorly fitting slippers or shoes.
  • Chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, dementia and hypotension, which can cause dizziness and a brief loss of consciousness
  • Impairments, such as poor vision or muscle weakness
  • Conditions that can affect balance, such as labrynthitis

What can I do to prevent falls?

There are many ways to improve someone's chances of being fall-free at home there are services in the Surrey Heath CCG area that support people to stay independent for as long as possible.

Falls assessment

If you have 3 of the 5 issues below, we would recommend having a falls assessment:

  • A fall in the last year
  • Difficulty getting out of a chair
  • Balance or walking problems
  • Taking 4 or more medicines
  • Had a stroke or Parkinson’s disease

Call 0845 2417201 to give general information details and we will arrange for you to receive advice and assessment if appropriate.

Exercise programmes

Exercise programmes (including Tai Chi) and home safety interventions have been shown by NICE (2013b) to reduce people's rate of falls and risk of falling (Gillespie et al, 2012).

Watch this short video which shows six exercises you can do in your own home to strengthen muscles and improve balance. You don’t need any special equipment to try them out.

 

Click here to access class information for the Arena Leisure Centre Get Active 50+

Sensors and equipment

Simple equipment or small changes to your home could help you to live more independently and help avoid falls – such as grab rails.

Click here for the Surrey Heath Borough Council Telecare website (fall pendants, community alarms etc)

Click here for information on how to access equipment on the Surrey County Council page

Footwear and care

Research has shown that older people are more likely to fall in the home if they are wearing ill-fitting footwear. A significant number of older people fall every year because of slippers that do not fit very well or have become unsafe through wear and tear (Age UK Waltham Forest).

By acquiring new, properly fitted slippers, you can eliminate one of the big risk factors known to cause people to fall in the first place. Practice good foot care. Check your feet regularly.

Click here for information on looking after your feet

Click here for information on footwear

Further Information

Click here for the NHS Choices Falls Prevention website 

Click here for the Furturelearn Aging Well Falls course