Falls prevention

What is this?

There are different ways in which you can help prevent falls for yourself, or the person you care for. Some of these changes are simple checks you can conduct yourself. Some issues will require the advice and input of your GP or medical professional as there may be another reason falls are becoming a problem.

How can I prevent the risk of falls?

There are a number of ways you can reduce your chances of having a fall, including making simple changes in your home and doing special exercises. If you have fallen in the past, making changes to reduce your chances of having a fall can also help you overcome any fear of falling. Small changes can make a big difference when preventing falls.

Top tips for preventing falls in the home include:

  • Using non-slip mats and rugs
  • Removing clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
  • Organising your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum
  • Wearing well-fitting shoes that support the ankles
  • Taking care of your feet by trimming toenails regularly or seeing a foot care practitioner

Sometimes if you are an older person it can be easy to assume that your concerns will not be taken seriously by the support services available to you. All healthcare professionals take the risks of falls and their impact on health and wellbeing seriously. If you are a carer for an older person or are looking for equipment to help yourself, there is more information about equipment and support available to help if you click on the link below.

Medication Review and Sight Tests
Depending on your circumstances, your GP will generally review your medication on an annual basis. It is important to consider the side effects of any medication you are taking and whether this could be causing you to fall or putting you at risk of falls. The same can be said for sight problems. It is important to regularly get your eyes tested, as poor vision can often be treated easily.

Discuss any falls you have had with your GP and mention if the fall has had any impact on your health and wellbeing. Your GP can carry out simple balance tests to see if you are at increased risk of falling in the future.

Further Information
Further information on falls prevention for older people can be found on the NHS Choices website.  This website also includes additional information about exercise and bone health, strength and balance training, medication review and sight tests. The Swindon Safe & Warm 'Helping you to reduce the risk of falling in your home' leaflet also contains a wealth of information including a hazard awareness checklist and advice on what to do if you do have a fall.