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11 October 2021

Falls can happen anywhere and are more likely to happen if you are unwell, or after a recent hospital admission.

You may be more prone to falling if you have poor balance, low blood pressure, physical inactivity, unfamiliar places, poor eyesight, unsafe footwear or because of some medications.

Simple ways to prevent falls

Good posture and the way you walk can prevent falls. Hold your head up and look ahead when you walk and get your eyesight checked regularly. Be aware of any trip or slip hazards in your home and when out and about, such as small steps, uneven pathways or small pets.

Being active helps to maintain muscle strength, balance and mobility. For most people, 30 minutes of activity a day, even in ten-minute lots, can have significant health benefits. The activity can include doing something you enjoy – such as walking your dog, dancing, bowls or community exercise programs.

Tips to prevent falls at home

  • Ensure your home is well lit, especially stairs or steps.
  • Install a night light or a lamp that is easily reached from your bed or keep a torch nearby if you need to get up during the night.
  • Consider leaving a light on for safe toilet access.
  • Fit bathroom and kitchen with non-slip surfaces.
  • Clean up any spills to avoid slipping.
  • Ensure all pathways are free of obstacles.
  • Remove or secure rugs that may slide.
  • Be aware of pets being underfoot when moving in and around the house.
  • Take time getting up either from lying down or when moving from sitting to standing, particularly when using the toilet.
  • If you have them, use walking aids and keep them in good condition.
  • Be realistic about the maintenance tasks you do around the home and ask for assistance when required.
  • Keep frequently used items within easy reach to avoid using a stepladder or chair.
  • Consider handrails to make things easier and safer for longer.

Tips to prevent falls while outdoors

  • Steps should be well lit and have sturdy handrails.
  • Highlight the edge of any steps so they can be seen night and day.
  • Check and repair uneven paths, decking or driveways.
  • Keep pathways clear.
  • Report any hazards in your community such as missing handrails, uneven paths, slippery surfaces or poor lighting.

If you have any concerns, talk to your Doctor, RDNS Silverchain or Silverchain care team.

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