Every year, around one in three over-65s and one in two people aged over 85 will have a fall.
There are many reasons why the risk of falls and fractures increases with age, including weaker bones and muscles and being less mobile.
The good news is that there are many simple things that you can do to stay on your feet and reduce your risk of falling. It’s really important to let your GP know if you have been feeling unsteady or falling will connect you with the people and services that can help you to stay independent and get your confidence back. If you have fallen or are having problems with your balance or walking then your GP can refer you to a specialist health professional in a falls team/clinic (if the NHS has this service in your area). They will assess you and provide you with an action plan to reduce your risk of falling.
Keep Active - Being too sedentary and sitting for too long could lead to muscle weakness of lower limbs and contribute to an increased risk of falls. Keep those muscles working; move often, either seated or standing. Take up a balance training class that includes exercises to strengthen the muscles of your legs and body. Age Cymru has a number of physical activity programmes you can sample, Nordic Walking - LIFT (Low Impact Functional Training) and now Tai Chi.
Keep Warm – A drop in temperature in your home, may contribute to the potential for more serious health concerns including falls. Regular movement is a great way of regulating heat, but a chilly home environment is also a risk. What temperature to keep your home can impact your mobility and how well your muscles function.
We've produced a room thermometer card in partnership with Western Power Distribution and Choose Well to raise awareness of a safe and stable temperature for your home, so make sure you know the magic numbers!
- 21°C/70°F is the ideal temperature for your living room.
- 18°C/65°F is the ideal temperature for your bedroom.
- The rest of the house should be heated to at least 18°C/65°F
‘D’ during daylight - Try and take some time outdoors each day, during daylight hours, particularly if there is sunshine, whether this is a stroll around your garden, neighbouring streets or in a local green space. Spending too long indoors could lead to vitamin D deficiency because of lack of sunlight exposure. Many of us will be deficient in Vitamin D, particularly during winter. Speak to a medical professional before taking any supplements.
Age Cymru run a HandyVan service, we can help with small household repairs, minor adaptations and odd jobs that will improve your quality of life. We can fit grab rails, stair rails, replace light bulbs and fit security lights, all this helps to prevent a fall.
We were contacted recently by Mrs Hughes with this lovely feedback "Just to thank Sean for doing a great job putting up the grab rail. My husband is so grateful as its made such a difference to him getting up and down the stairs. Diolch"
For more information, please visit our HandyVan page.
Falls awareness events
In partnership with age connects wales and Care & Repair, we're holding two events in February where you can come along and find out more about preventing falls, adaptations you can make to your home to prevent a fall and have a taster session on Tai Chi. So pop along to one of our events and enjoy a cuppa.
Tuesday 7 February 2017 - 10:30am - 2pm
Conwy & Denbighshire Care and Repair
Unit 10 / 11 St Asaph Business Park
Ffordd Richard Davies
St Asaph, LL17 0LJ
RSVP - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 9 February 2017
The Widdershins Centre
Pontypool, NP4 5AB
RSVP - email@example.com
For more information why not download our invitation from below.