Northamptonshire | Switch Location

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.

The more details you can remember about a fall, the easier it is to pinpoint a cause so think carefully about:

  • When it happened – Was it related to time of day? Were you doing something specific at the time?
  • How it happened – Was it a loss of balance? Did you trip on something? Did you go dizzy? Did you blackout?
  • Where it happened – is there a trip hazard you could remove? Have you fallen in this place before? If so, why could this be?

Often, rather than one specific reason, there may be a number of underlying risk factors which have played a part, many of which can be reduced by following some simple advice.

These issues may include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor balance
  • Dizziness
  • Environmental hazards 
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Foot pain, deformity or numbness
  • Badly fitting or unsupportive footwear 
  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Poor nutrition
  • Medications or poor pain control 
  • Bladder and bowel conditions
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Incontinence

Falling can have an impact on your confidence which may then lead to a vicious cycle of reduced activity and a further increase in falls risk.

Taking a pro-active approach, even if you haven’t had a fall, will help you take control of the situation and allow you to remain active and independent for longer with an increased quality of life in the long term.

Other medical conditions and Falls

It is well known that some medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and a history of a stroke can increase your risk of falls. If you are concerned about how your past medical history may be affecting your falls risk, please discuss this with your GP or an appropriate health professional, such as the Falls Management Service or specialist nurse who can help you manage your falls risk with your individual needs.

 

Useful links on falls and how to prevent them: 

Saga - Get Up and Go Guide

NHS Supporting Older People 

NHS Falls Prevention

Age uk- staying steady links

RoSPA Home Safety Videos