Don’t live in fear of a fall
The impact of a fall can be life changing, leaving you feeling vulnerable in your own home – the one place you should feel the most secure and confident.
Falls are often seen as an inevitable part of growing older. But there are lots of things you can do to prevent them. And the Aberdeenshire Falls Prevention Team is here to help.
Around 1,000 people over 65 are admitted to hospital every year after a fall.
Prevention is better than cure
Our Falls Prevention Team are specialists who can give you an assessment and practical advice on how to reduce the risks of falling at home. Made up of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, podiatrists, nurses and rehabilitation technicians they work in a preventative role, identifying any problems before a fall occurs. Ask your health care professional to be referred to the Falls Prevention Team or call 0500 20 20 30.
There are some simple steps you can take straight away to stay steady, and stay safe at home.
Six quick steps to staying steady
- Visit your GP
If you are worried about falling, your GP can take a comprehensive look at your living environment and your health to identify how you might be vulnerable, and devise a fall prevention plan.
- Ask about your medicines
Certain medicines can affect your balance. So if you ever feel dizzy or faint, let your GP or pharmacist know, as they may want to change your dose or look at alternatives.
- Look after your feet
Report any foot problems to your GP or chiropodist. Anything that causes you pain or discomfort can affect your balance. Also think about the shoes you wear. Sturdy shoes with a non-skid sole can stop you slipping. High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you stumble.
- Remove home hazards
Take a quick look around your home and make sure there aren’t potential hazards which might lead to a fall, such as wires, phone cords, frayed carpets, or loose floorboards. And keep your home brightly lit to reduce the risk of tripping over any obstacles.
- Exercise regularly
Some activities reduce the risk of falls by improving your strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. These include gardening, dancing, tai chi and water workouts. Speak to your GP first. They may refer you to a physical therapist who can give you an exercise programme tailored to your particular needs.
- Use assistive devices
There are a huge variety of gadgets to make everyday tasks easier. Some solutions are easily installed and relatively inexpensive, such as nonslip treads on bare wood steps. Others may require professional help, like the installation of grab bars in your shower or bath.