Everyone can be at risk of having a fall, but falls can be more serious in older adults because they are more likely to be injured.
Falls are common in older people and are a leading reason for them being admitted to hospital or a nursing home. Falls can also lead to older people losing confidence, becoming withdrawn and may feel as if they have lost their independence.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.
Last reviewed: December 2017