Anyone can have a fall, but older people are more vulnerable and likely to fall, especially if they have a long-term health condition.
According to NHS UK, around 1 in 3 adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls.
Falls become a greater threat as we age for many reasons. Bones become more fragile and fracture more easily. Dementia, Alzheimer’s or the ability to think clearly and make sense of the world, also increases the risk of falling.
Most falls do not result in serious injury. But there's always a risk that a fall could lead to broken bones or head injuries. This can result in chronic pain, reduced mobility and it can cause the person to lose confidence, become withdrawn, and feel as if they have lost their independence.
Although fear of falling is common, if someone does lose their confidence, they often end up restricting their activities as a result which can lead to many more physical and mental health conditions.
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to maintain good balance and posture, as well as make your environment safer to navigate.
You might want to consider speaking to your GP who will be able to provide you with some more information on exercises that you can do. Several studies have shown that exercise reduces the risk of falls or prevents serious injury if you do fall. Your GP may also suggest having a sight test or an ECG as well as checking your blood pressure while lying and standing. Your GP can also request for a home hazard assessment which would involve a healthcare professional visiting your home to identify potential hazards and give advice.
Changes to your home and habits can help keep you on your feet, too. Firstly, make sure that there are no phone, television, appliance, or other cables and wires trailing across rooms or hallways. Rooms in your house should be well lit, with floors free of clutter, start with removing rugs, which can be slippery. Avoid walking around the house on hardwood or other smooth surfaces in socks and instead wear shoes with rubber soles. You may also want to consider installing a handrail in the bathroom and use a non-skid mat in the tub or shower and consider using a cane or walker, if necessary.
During the colder months, avoid walking on icy paths; you can melt the ice with salt surrounding your house if you like. And, if you consume alcohol, do so in moderation.
Although these methods of prevention are great, unfortunately, accidents do happen sometimes. Progress Lifeline can help provide reassurance and peace of mind to you or your friends and family just in case they do fall. Our falls detectors can automatically detect a fall and alert our 24/7 control centre to call for help on your behalf even if you are unconscious. It is important to not let the fear of falling keep you from enjoying life and Progress Lifeline can help you do that with a simple personal pendant.
Call us now on 03333 204 999 or fill out this contact form to find out how our service can benefit you, or your loved one, giving you the freedom to live life to the full. We are here to help.
Facebook - @ProgressLifeline
Twitter - @PLifeline
Linkedin - www.linkedin.com/company/progress-lifeline