Hopefully we are on our way into spring, but because pavements are less slippery and easier to navigate, it doesn’t mean that falls are not still a real issue.
Age UK has published guidance on how to avoid falls. Here are some of the main points it covers:
Muscle strength and balance reduce as we age, so keep moving to help. You can exercise in your own home, there are classes at the local leisure centres and we also have exercise classes here at John Storer House.
Look after your eyes
If you feel your eyesight is worsening, get them tested. It is better to have an early diagnosis when it comes to eye problems. Eye problems mean trip hazards are less visible, but can also lead to balance and co-ordination problems.
Look after your hearing
Again, hearing loss can affect your balance. Get tested.
Manage your medication
Some medicines have side effects that include dizziness or feeling faint. Talk to your doctor if you have experienced any of these problems as a result of taking regular medication.
Keep bones healthy
Weak bones mean a relatively minor fall can have serious consequences. Ensure your diet includes plenty of calcium-rich foods and vitamin D. Weight-bearing exercise will also help.
Take care of your footwear
Make sure you have well-fitting shoes that support your feet. Ensure that they have good grip on the soles.
Avoiding falls at home
Make sure you have good lighting
Make sure it’s a clutter-free as possible, especially on stairs
Install handrails on stairs and in baths
Have a nightlight or torch in case you have to get up in the night
Avoid fraying carpets or loose rugs
Keep garden paths clear of moss and algae
Make sure your pet has a bell on its collar so that you know when it’s around
For more information or help check out the Age UK website: www.ageuk.org.uk or call the advice line 0800 055 6112