Practical advice and guidance to prevent falls in your home
From the age of 30, we can lose up to eight per cent of our muscle strength every decade. From the age of 50, we can also start to lose bone strength and balance and one in three people aged 65 and over falls each year.
Therefore, it is important that we're aware of the different things that can cause falls in and outside of the home and what we can do to keep fit and healthy.
Quick tips to avoid falls around your home
Most falls occur in or around the home and there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of falling - we've listed a few below:
- Keep your floors and stairs clear from clutter
- If rugs are frayed it's better to remove them, but if not, get them stuck down so they reduce slipping under you
- Re-arrange cables that are in the way
- Organise your home so that climbing, stretching and bending for things is minimised
- Make sure areas are well lit, particularly stairs, so that you can see well
- Carry a personal alarm or mobile phone with you at all times, making sure it is turned on
- Consider having assistive technology in your home, including stair lifts, rails and frames
- Ask someone to help you with things that you might not be able to do safely yourself, like getting something from a high shelf
- Make sure shoes and slippers fit well and have good grip
- In colder weather, have regular hot drinks, keep the temperature at at least 18 degrees Celsius, and take extra care in wet and slippery conditions - visit our preparing for winter webpage for further information
You can see more information in the Get Up and Go: A Guide to Staying Steady booklet (if you would like a hard copy of this booklet, please contact the Public Health and Wellbeing Team). You can also watch a video of staying steady exercises.
The following video was produced by the Falls Prevention partnership in West Berkshire and is about avoiding trips and falls at home:
It's a good idea to practice getting up from a fall, so you feel confident if and when you need to.
If you're concerned about your balance and worry you may be at risk of falling:
- For help and advice speak to your GP, District Nurse, Adult Social Care or Age UK
- The Safe and Well Programme from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service offers a home visit to check fire safety alongside providing general advice around falls prevention at home. For eligibility, please visit the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue 'Safe and Well Visit' webpage
- Take a look at our falls prevention leaflets:
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Staying fit and healthy
Staying fit and healthy can reduce your risk of having a fall. There are other factors that can contribute to having a fall; consider:
- your vision - it plays an important role in your sense of balance, so make sure you visit the opticians regularly
- your medicines - some medicines have side effects that can make you feel faint or unsteady; talk to your GP if you ever feel like this
- your feet - have a major effect on your balance and stability; trim toenails regularly
- your diet - it's important to make sure that you eat well and stay hydrated; visit the NHS Choices website for information and advice about making sure you have a good diet
Help keeping active
Try to avoid being sedentary at home by walking around during TV adverts and keeping your joints moving. Regular exercise can help prevent you having a fall. Our Activity for Health programme includes "Steady Steps" classes that can help improve confidence, balance, co-ordination and strength.
Get Berkshire Active run wellbeing sessions in Reading and West Berkshire. These sessions offer individuals the opportunity to take part in chair-based activity that helps to gently rebuild strength, suppleness, skill and stamina and provides an opportunity to socialise with others..
We also provide details of available activities and sports throughout West Berkshire on our Physical Activity pages.
You can visit the NHS Choices website for more advice and guidance about how much physical activity adults aged 65 and over need to keep healthy.
Falls in West Berkshire
Thecontains the most up-to-date information for West Berkshire, including data on the causes of falls, the estimated number of falls and the number of injuries caused by falls.
Falls prevention is a priority within the, and we are aiming to maximise independence in older people by preventing falls and improving rehabilitation services.
The National Institution for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidance for assessing the risks and prevention for falls in older people (this advice is for professionals).