Worried about falls?
Each year, around 1 in 3 people aged 65 or over will have a fall, which may lead to serious injury. People who’ve already had falls are more likely than others to fall in the future. They may also become anxious, less confident and more dependent on other people.
The Milton Keynes Community Based Falls Prevention team explain below why falls are so common among older people, and various ways of helping to prevent them. It also covers how to reduce the fear of having a fall.
What’s age got to do with it?
As part of aging, eyesight and muscles tend to get weaker and keeping your balance becomes harder. Certain medicines and illnesses can also cause difficulties such as balance problems, dizziness, confusion and sleepiness. These things can make older people more vulnerable to hazards such as steep stairs, slippery floors or uneven pavements. There are some specific risk factors that increase the chance of having a fall. Tackling such factors, if possible, may reduce the risk of falling.
Among older people, falls are more common in women than men, and more likely as age increases. But falling isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. And there’s lots that you, and the people around you can do to help prevent falls.
‘’ Preventing falls in the older generation is
Factors that increase the chance of falling over include:
- Already having had several falls
- Problems with walking or balance
- Weak leg muscles, or arthritis
- Foot problems (for instance, pain or poor shoes)
- Having had a stroke/ other long term Neurological condition in the past
- Poor eyesight
- Low morale
- Certain medicines e.g. sleeping pills. Sedatives, or antidepressants
- Being on a combination of medicines
- Drinking alcohol
Problems after a fall
Falling over and getting hurt is bad enough, but a person who has fallen may also feel helpless and embarrassed, especially if they can’t get up without help.
If you do fall and can’t get up, don’t forget to press your pendant alarm button immediately. It’s important to cover yourself up, if you can, and to try to keep moving – by turning over and moving your arms and legs. This helps you keep warm and reduces your chance of getting pressure sores, improve circulation or other medical problems, from lying still on the floor for a long time.
When to contact your GP / Our Service?
If you fall over, it’s sensible to tell your doctor, even if you didn’t hurt yourself. This is especially important if it’s possible that dizziness or a blackout caused you to fall, or a change in your medicines seem to have made you unsteady on your feet. Also ask for a check-up if there seems to be no obvious explanation for your fall, or if you’re worried about falling again Contact Us.
TELEPHONE 01908 686751 OR
COMPLETE an Referral Enquiry Form
Once we received your filled enquiry form, we will contact you to gather some further information.
- WE DO ACCEPT SELF REFERRALS
- Don’t just assume you must have tripped if you can’t remember doing so.
- Older people, particularly women, have a higher risk of breaking a bone when they fall over. This is often because of a condition called ‘osteoporosis’ that makes the bones more fragile. If you’re worried about osteoporosis, your GP can give you information and advice.
Get more information on how to look after yourself, safety tips and getting help