Share this page
5 ways to keep yourself safe from falls
Developing strength and agility are great ways to help reduce the risk of a fall, but are you aware of other everyday things that may trip you up?
Most falls occur in and around our homes while we’re doing everyday tasks – in fact, nearly a third of falls reported by our clients happened in their bedroom!*
Here’s our list of common causes of falls – and how to tackle them.
There’s all sorts of objects in the home and garden that can be trip hazards but in particular, things like rugs, side tables and loose electrical cords or leads can really sneak up on you.
Take a slow and careful walk around your house during the day when the light is best, and have a look for any of these. If you notice something stands out, ask someone to help you move it to a safer place.
You might also like to identify a light to leave on during the night, so that if you do need to get up, there’s less risk of tripping over something in the dark.
When we’re not active, our muscles can get weaker and our balance can become poor. Both of these factors can contribute to a fall, but so too can changes in your vision or blood pressure.
Make sure you let your general practitioner (GP) know if you feel unwell or unusual.
It may be a good idea to talk to an optometrist if you feel unsteady, because your eyes not only help you to see but also to maintain your balance. Having your eyes checked regularly, making sure you are wearing glasses with the right prescription and keeping your glasses clean are all important.
Our hearing may also cause sensory and balance problems. Your GP can help test your hearing and may suggest supports like a hearing or walking aid.
Some types of medications can affect balance or make you feel dizzy or tired.
Your GP will talk you through any possible side effects, but to be safe, let your doctor know if you feel strange after starting a new medication.
The wrong kind of footwear can contribute to poor balance and make you unstable on your feet.
It might not be what you’re used to, but ‘good’ shoes are comfortable, firm-fitting, flat shoes, with a low wide heel, laces, buckles or velcro fastenings and rubber soles that grip.
Although they’re cosy, it’s not a good idea to walk around just in your socks – look for a fitted slipper with gripped soles.
It doesn’t take much to become dizzy or dehydrated, especially in warmer weather, so it’s important to eat and drink regularly.
Poor nutrition can also result in lower bone density, which increases the risk of a fracture if you do have a fall.
As a good rule of thumb, you should aim to:
See 5 simple tips for eating well as you age for more.
Our allied health team consists of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, therapy assistants and care aides. We are experienced in supporting people to remain safe and active in their home and community.
We’ll meet with you to get to know you, assess your balance and mobility, and discuss your goals. With a focus on your health and wellbeing, together we’ll develop a care plan tailored to you to help you to stay safe, independent and confident on your feet.
Depending on your needs, your plan may include a tailored in-home exercise program designed by our team. This program can consist of balance and muscle strengthening exercises, a podiatry assessment to check your footwear and Home Safety Screen with guidance on how to make your home safer.
Our services include:
Physiotherapy: an assessment of your mobility, balance, strength and stamina will enable us to design a tailored program of care.
Occupational therapy: from the relocation of trip hazards and furniture through to recommendations for safety modifications such as grab rails and access ramps, we’ll minimise your risk of falling and maximise your independence.
Mobility aids: you may benefit from equipment such as a walking frame or stick to help you get around the house and out in your community more safely.
Personal alarms: a personal alarm provides peace of mind to you and your family so that in the unfortunate event of a fall or if you need help, you can call our emergency response centre at the press of a button.
You may be eligible for these services through a government funded program such as the Commonwealth Home Support Programme** or a Home Care Package.
Alternatively, if you are not receiving a government-funded package, we offer all our falls prevention services at a competitive hourly rate, with no need for a government assessment or subsidy.
For more information, contact our friendly team today.
T: (08) 9242 0119 (8am to 5pm weekdays)
*Figures from November 2017
**On 1 July 2018 Home and Community Care (HACC) was replaced by the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). You can read more about the change at our Commonwealth Home Support Programme page.