Falls Prevention

 

One in three people over 65 will have a fall each year. Falls are common but are not an inevitable part of ageing.

Most falls don’t result in serious injury but there is a risk that a fall could lead to reduced mobility and loss of independence at home, making it harder to manage. It may also cause loss of confidence, making it harder to leave the house alone, resulting in feelings of frustration and isolation.

The majority of falls can be prevented with some simple changes to your lifestyle and your home environment. A fall can be a warning sign that you need a medical check up or medication review. 

The resources listed provide advice and information on falls prevention, what to do after a fall, self assessment risk of falling checklists and give guidance on how to seek further help.

 

Improving your fitness

One of the most important things you need to do as you get older is to keep physically active and avoid prolonged periods of sitting. Activities that improve your muscle strength and balance will also help keep you steady on your feet. Exercises that make your legs stronger will help prevent falls. 

The resources listed will help you decide what activities are best for you. For more information about local exercise opportunities, contact your local council office or Age UK Gloucestershire on 01452 422660. Age UK Gloucestershire can also provide a free "Staying Steady" booklet.

 

Falls Prevention In Hospital

If you are over 65 and in hospital, your risk of falling increases. If you are over 65 or age 55-64 and judged by a clinician to be at risk of falling, you should have a multifactorial risk assessment to identify the factors increasing your risk of falling. Once you have been assessed to see if any risk factors apply to you, staff can provide care accordingly to reduce the risks as far as possible.

It is not possible to prevent all falls in hospital, however if the multi disciplinary team work together to reduce the risks, research has shown they can reduce falls by 20-30%. You and your family can also help to reduce the risks by following advice given and talking to the people looking after you about falls prevention.

 Falls Assessment and Education Service

The Falls Assessment and Education Service aims to reduce the number of people falling or at risk of falling in Gloucestershire through effective falls prevention information, education, assessment and intervention.

There is a clinical specialist physiotherapist based in each locality across the county. The physiotherapists provide specialist falls assessment with a focus on mobility, physical activity, balance and strength. This may be an outpatient appointment or may take place in the place of residence.

Advice and information will be given to reduce the risk factors with onward referral and signposting as necessary. if you wish to refer yourself or someone to the falls service, please follow the link:    Falls service  - self referral 

 

Falls Assessment Clinic

If you have multiple or unexplained falls, your GP may refer you to one of the consultant led, multi disciplinary falls assessment clinics. In the falls assessment clinic you will be seen by a nurse, a specialist physiotherapist and a consultant or senior doctor. Please allow for this appointment to take up to 2 hours. Please remember to bring with you:

  • a list of your current medications
  • a urine sample
  • the glasses you normally wear
  • the walking aid you normally use

We encourage you to bring someone with you to this appointment, particularly if they have have witnessed any of your falls.