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How to take steps to prevent falls.

How to take steps to prevent falls.
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Falls

Everyone can be at risk of having a fall, but some older adults can be more vulnerable than others due to the presence of long-term health conditions.

Falls can have an adverse psychological impact on elderly people. For example, after having a fall a person can lose confidence, become withdrawn and may feel as if they have lost their independence.

Other groups who are particularly at risk are young children and people whose job involves working at heights.

There are simple, everyday measures around the home that an older person can take to help prevent a fall. They include:

  • using non-slip mats in the bathroom
  • mopping up spills to avoid wet floors
  • getting help lifting or moving items that are heavy or difficult to lift
  • removing clutter and ensuring that all areas of the home are properly lit.

You may want to have a medicine review if medicine that you are taking is causing side effects, such as dizziness, which is increasing your risk of having a fall. A sight test may also be beneficial if you are having problems with your vision.

Research has shown that older people who take part in regular strength and balance training are less likely to have a fall.

Many community centres and local gyms offer specialist training programs for older people. Exercise programs that can be carried out at home are also available.

Sources: NHS Choices, UK (Falls, Falls preventions), myagedcare (Help with falls prevention)

Last reviewed: September 2015

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