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Trips and falls

Staying steady on your feet 

There are many simple things that you can do to help stay steady on your feet. It is very common to feel anxious if you have had a fall or feel unsteady.


Stay steady on your feet

Exercise regularly – Strengthening activities that challenge your balance, like gardening, dancing or brisk walking. Regular activity such as walking or gardening can help keep you fit and healthy. There are also specific exercises to strengthen the muscles of your legs and improve your co-ordination and balance.  Read about ActivLives Strength and Balance sessions.

Regular sight and hearing tests– Eye tests are free for everyone over 60 and many places offer free hearing tests too.  Speak to your GP if you have any concerns about your sight or hearing. Vision plays an important role in your sense of balance too so have your eyes checked regularly.  For more information read our page on Your senses


Ask about your medicines – Certain medicines can affect your balance or make you feel faint or unsteady.  Talk to your GP or pharmacist as they may want to change your dose or look at alternatives.


Vitamins & minerals – A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D will help to keep your bones strong.  Dairy foods, fortified soya products and canned fish are good sources of calcium.  Exposure to sunlight is good way to absorb vitamin D. Healthy eating advice


Look after your feet – Foot problems can have a major effect on our balance and stability. Wear shoes that fit you well. Avoid loose slippers or those with no backs, sandals and high heels. Wear well-fitted shoes and slippers, and report any foot problems to your GP or chiropodist.  Visit our page about foot care

Check for home hazards– Make sure your home is well-lit and any wires, clutter, loose mats or frayed carpets are tidied up or secured.  Consider having a personal alarm so you can get help whenever you need it.  Always take care on the stairs and consider an extra banister or handrails to make everyday activities safer. Keep the floor free from clutter, which you may trip over. If you fall and are worried ask your GP to refer you to the Falls Service.

Questions

Is the fear of falling making you anxious or causing you, or someone you care for, to lose confidence in carrying out everyday tasks?

There are many things you can do to reduce the risk of a fall. Visit www.ageuk.org.uk for tips and advice.  

Your GP can help and may also refer you for a falls risk assessment. 

Download the App!

FALLCHECK is an app to help prevent falls in the home. Based on information from occupational therapists and falls experts in the UK, the app gives a comprehensive guide to alert you to potential fall hazards that might be present in your own or a relative's home. Information on how to remove or reduce the risk to help prevent falls is provided by the app. Download from the NHS Health Apps Library

For more information visit: www.coventry.ac.uk/fallcheck


Keep your home safe:

  • In the bathroom - Test your bath water to prevent scalding. Use a nonslip rubber mat. A handrail is useful for extra support. It is a good idea to leave the door unlocked in case you need help.
  • In the bedroom - Always switch off your electric blanket before getting into bed and check their cords regularly for scorch marks. Have your electric blanket tested annually. Before getting into bed, make sure that anything you need is within easy reach - a lamp, drink, medicines and perhaps a torch by the bedside. If you feel dizzy when you first sit up, wait a couple of minutes before standing up.
  • In the living area - If rugs are frayed, it is safer to remove them. Secure trailing wires and have heating equipment checked regularly. Check smoke alarm batteries. The Fire Service do home safety visits and will fit smoke alarms free of charge for older people. Consider having a personal alarm so you can get help whenever you need it.

Falls Directory

The Falls Directory is for Health and Social Care professionals to locate the most appropriate services for patients, having recognised that they are at risk of falling, in the event of a fall or for fall rehabilitation.

www.fallsdirectoryipswich.co.uk

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