Avoiding slips, trips and falls
We all suffer falls occasionally but as we get older we are more likely to have a fall.
An 85-year-old is five times more likely to have a fall than a 65-year-old.
Many falls, particularly among older people, result in hip fractures. Following a fall people often fear it will happen again and these leads to a loss of confidence which limits their daily activities and threatens their independence.
If you have suffered a fall it’s important to tell someone – your GP, your family, a friend or neighbour, and make sure you get some help. There are many ways you can reduce your risk of falling.
Why do people fall?
The most common reasons why people fall are:
- A medical condition
- Side effects of medication
- The wrong footwear
- Foot problems
- Poor vision or hearing problems
- Lack of exercise
- Hazards in the home such as poor lighting, rugs and mats
- Uneven pavements.
Top tips to prevent falls
There are lots of simple steps you can take to prevent falls.
- Keep as healthy and active as possible. Follow a balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids. Do some exercise every day if you can
- Ask your GP to review your medication every six months and report any side-effects such as dizziness and drowsiness
- Check your home for hazards. Keep wires and cables out of the way; make sure stairs and landings are well lit and free from clutter. Consider having additional handrails fitted.
- Always use your walking aids such as a stick, frame or trolley. If possible keep items within easy reach to avoid climbing, bending and stretching
- Take care of your feet and make sure shoes and slippers fit you well
Some useful links
• Falls Assistant is a falls prevention and self management tool specifically designed and created to help prevent falls, keep people steady on their feet and stay as independent as possible.
• NHS Inform Falls information Provides a co-ordinated, single source of quality assured health and care information for the people of Scotland, including information about local services
• Age Scotland provides information and services at a national and local level to enable and support older people when they need it
• National Osteoporosis Society provides information on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and fragility fractures
• Silver Line Scotland Helpline for Older people
• Home Fire Safety for Older People home fire safety checks and information provided by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
• Action on Hearing Loss supporting people with hearing loss
• RNIB Scotland supporting people with sight loss
• McClintock Home Eyecare provides free NHS eye tests at home to those who cannot visit a High Street Opticians unaccompanied due to physical or mental illness Telephone 01309 673635
• Care and Repair Scotland offers advice and assistance to help elderly and disabled homeowners repair, improve or adapt their homes to allow them to live safely in their community
• Moray Handyperson Service offers services such as decluttering, small jobs about the home, shopping, toe nail cutting service.
• REAP Rural Environmental Action Project can offer advice and support on matters of heating Telephone 01543 888070
• Access Care Team is the single point of contact for all initial enquiries about care and support, making it easier and quicker for people to get the right information and services they need. Telephone 01343 563999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Healthpoint a drop in service which offers free advice and information on a range of topics e.g. nutrition, smoking cessation, alcohol, physical activity & weight management. Telephone (Freephone) 0500 202030 or email email@example.com (Monday to Friday 0900-1700hrs)
• Arrows Quarriers Service Assessment and support for adults experiencing substance and alcohol misuse. Telephone 01343 552382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Breathing Space when feelings and thoughts overwhelm and become all too much, Breathing Space offer a helpline where experienced advisors will listen and offer information and advice. Telephone 0800 38587
• Get up and go leaflet - a guide to staying steady
• Groups and Activities for Older People - There are a number of Stable and Able groups in Moray, where members undertake gentle exercise to improve their mobility, Telephone Community Care Development Officer on 01343 567142 or click on the link below
Community Alarm and Fall Detectors
The Moray Lifeline community alarm scheme helps you to live independently at home, giving you peace of mind by knowing you can call for help 24 hours a day.
The alarm is operated by simply pressing the trigger on the alarm button that you should carry with you. A signal is sent from the alarm unit in your home to the control centre where an operator will be able to speak to you. They will then organise any help you require. The Telecare service can also provide a range of fall detectors which are linked to the community alarm and will automatically dial for assistance in the event of a fall.
- Moray Lifeline community alarm
Aids and Equipment to Help You
For anyone with mobility problems, there are a number of services to help you