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Falls are serious at any age, but breaking a bone after a fall becomes more likely as we get older. Even if a bone is not broken after a fall, it can make you more fearful of falling again, and this may limit how you live your life.
But it is possible to reduce your risk of falling. The following information explains how to do this in these easy steps.
Classes to reduce your likelihood of falling are also available through the Council’s lifestyle service One You Cheshire East.
If you’re fit, you are less likely to fall. Staying active can help to keep muscles strong and improve your balance. Try to do some regular physical activity, such as swimming, gardening, walking or dancing. If you haven’t exercised for a while, talk to your doctor or health professional first. They might be able to give you some strength and balance exercises to do at home or recommend a local exercise class.
You can read more about staying active on the Keeping active webpage.
Eyes and ears
Protecting your vision and ensuring proper eye health is one of the most important things you can do to help maintain your quality of life as you get older.
As you get older your vision may change, but it doesn’t have to compromise your lifestyle or quality of eyesight. Knowing what to expect and when to seek professional care are important steps to safeguarding your vision.
And it’s not only your eyes, good hearing is also important to reduce the chances of having a fall.
You can find an optician using the NHS Website. Some opticians will also visit someone in their own if they have mobility issues.
When purchasing footwear including slippers you should check that they fasten well, are supportive, have a sturdy sole and are not loose. If you are having problems with your feet you can discuss this with your doctor who may refer you for NHS chiropody or podiatry treatment. Alternatively, you can access this privately (see nhs.uk).
Taking more than four medications can increase the risk of falls due to their side effects. You should arrange to visit your doctor or local pharmacist (also known as chemist) for a medication review at least once a year. If you are having a hard time keeping track of medicines or are experiencing side effects, discuss your concerns with your doctor and pharmacist.
There are lots of things both in the home and outside the home that could cause you to fall, and by doing a FALLCHECK regularly can help stop this happening.
Coventry University have created an app called FALLCHECK to help prevent falls in the home. This app gives a comprehensive guide to alert you to potential fall hazards and provides information on how to reduce or remove risks within the home.
Alcohol and hydration
Be sensible about alcohol
It’s important to drink alcohol sensibly. Even moderate drinking can increase your risk of having a fall. Mixing alcohol and medicines can also be harmful. Combining alcohol with some medicines can lead to falls and serious injuries, especially among older people.
If you are taking prescription drugs and you are unsure whether it is safe to drink alcohol, please check with your doctor or your pharmacist.
Importance of staying hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated can help prevent dehydration and reduce your risk of falling.
Top tips for good hydration
- Keep a water bottle close by to drink throughout the day
- Sip a drink during meals
- Drink before and after physical activity
- Choose a large size cup to drink from
- Swap dry snacks for fruit and veg