Information & Advice

This section contains information to help you reduce your risk of falls. To personalise this advice, please complete the self-assessment tool which will allow you to create a printable action plan.
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Information & Advice
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Falls

Falling, or feeling at risk of falls, is not an inevitable part of getting older. It may be the first sign of a new or worsening health condition (e.g. infection, dehydration, etc) so it is important to tell someone, your GP, another health professional or a family member if you have a fall, so they can assist you in reducing your falls risk.

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Blackouts

A blackout (or faint) is a sudden loss of consciousness caused by a shortage of blood and oxygen to the brain. This may only last for a second but it could be enough to cause a fall to the ground.

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Dizziness

Dizziness can take many forms (e.g. light headedness, spinning, etc.) but it is never normal regardless of age.

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Medication

Falls can be caused by almost any medication that acts on the brain or on the circulation because they can impair balance, cause dizziness or make you feel drowsy. If you are on 4 or more medications, this risk increases even further.

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Environment

Over half of all falls happen at home, where we spend much of our time and tend to move around without thinking about our safety.

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Movement & Exercise

Keeping active is extremely important, particularly as we age. Muscle weakness and poor balance are key risk factors for falls.

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Vision

Good eyesight is important for mobility, balance and negotiating obstacles within the environment.

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Memory

As we get older, problems with memory loss, confusion and problem solving can become more common which lead to problems completing both everyday tasks and more complex tasks increasing falls risk.

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Nutrition & Hydration

Good nutrition and hydration is vital for physical and mental function, and losing weight unintentionally is not a normal part of the ageing process. It is important to speak to your GP if you are losing weight for an unknown reason as it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

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Bone Health

Keeping our bones as strong as possible is particularly important as we age as they naturally become thinner over time increasing the risk of a broken bone if you fall.

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Feet

Your feet are an essential part of your balance and mobility, in later life our feet may show signs of the energetic life we have led. It is important to take care of your feet because problems like long toe nails, loss of feeling and poor footwear can cause discomfort and make you unsteady.

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Bladder / Bowel

There are a number of bladder and bowel problems which can increase falls risk.

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Fear of Falling

Anyone can have a fall. You are definitely not alone. Falling can be very frightening and may lead to a loss of confidence, restriction of activities, anxiety and worries. Fear of falling, whether you have had a fall or not, is very common.

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Sleep & Falls

Sleep patterns change with age. Sleeping in the day, not sleeping at night, and early morning waking are common. Try not to worry about not sleeping. Instead try using relaxation as positive action that you can take.

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