Falling as we get older is quite common, and although most falls don't cause serious injury they can leave us feeling quite distressed. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to stay steady on your feet.
What can I do to prevent a fall?
Some health conditions, medications and footwear can affect your ability to stay steady on your feet. You might not notice your health changing as it can happen gradually, so it's important to have regular checkups so any issues can be picked up before they cause a fall.
These footwear tips can help you feel more confident on your feet:
- Make sure your shoes fit well and don’t have a tendency to slip off.
- Well-cushioned shoes offer comfort and support.
- Avoid sandals with little support and shoes with high heels.
- Wear slippers that have a good grip and that fasten and stay on properly.
- Always wear shoes or slippers, and never walk indoors in bare feet, socks or tights.
How do I make my home fall-proof?
Many slips, trips and falls happen in or around the home. Keeping an eye out for potential hazards can make your home a safer place. Making some simple changes around your home can make a real difference. Here are our 3 top tips:
- Rugs and mats at the top or bottom of the stairs are a trip hazard and can easily lead to a fall, so it's a good idea to move them out of the way.
- Install a night light near the bed to make sure if you wake up in the night you can see where you're going. You can install a motion-activated light that comes on as needed.
- Remove trip hazards like trailing wires, clutter and rugs. Also, try and avoid glass furniture as it can be harder to see and may cause a stumble.
Need help to make your home safer?
Our Home Safe Service is ran by experienced and trusted tradesmen offering support with all types of home and garden maintenance, including safety adaptations.
What can I do if I'm worried about a fall?
If you’ve had a fall or you feel your balance isn’t as good as it was, it’s natural to feel worried about falling. This can become a problem if it’s causing you to avoid certain activities, such as exercise, or stopping you leaving your home.
To feel more confident and in control, think and plan ahead by discussing your risk of falling with your doctor and consider if you need to install a personal alarm in the home.
Talk to your doctor
Your doctor may perform a falls risk assessment which will work out what’s making you more likely to fall. They can also draw up an action plan to reduce your risk of falling.
Personal alarms allow you to call for help, for example, if you’re unwell or have a fall and can’t reach a telephone. Pressing a button on a pendant or wristband you wear all the time will alert a 24-hour response centre. The staff at the centre will then call out the best person to help you – a neighbour, relative or friend, or emergency services.
A telecare system can automatically alert staff at a response centre if you need help, such as if you’ve fallen. For example, a bed or chair sensor can detect if you’ve got up but haven’t returned in a set time, and it will automatically send an alert to a carer or emergency service.
What should I do next?
- Consider whether you need to make any lifestyle changes.
- Book an eye or hearing test if you’ve not had one recently.
- Look for and fix trip hazards in and around your home.
- Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your risk of falling.
- Make a falls plan so you know who you’ll call and how you will get help if you fall.
Read more about falls
For more information about staying steady on your feet, or if you want to show this information to someone else, download our guide.