Falls are often the result of many different factors but they are not an inevitable part of ageing.
Make sure you are aware of the following:
* Exercise – exercising regularly can keep you fit, healthy and help to reduce the risk of falling. Help the Aged has produced a video ‘Be Strong, Be Steady’ which contains strength and balance exercises proven to reduce your risk of a fall. Find out more through the Help the Aged online shop or call 0844 557 5336 to order.
The balance training website helps you identify your risk of falling and to plan an exercise programme around your needs and requirements.
* Keep feet healthy – foot pain and other foot problems contribute to an increased risk of falls. Talk to your chiropodist about keeping your feet healthy and wearing the correct type of shoes.
* Medicines – some medicines can make you dizzy and increase your risk of a fall. If dizziness is one of the side effects of any medication you are taking, or if you take more than four different medicines, ask your GP or pharmacist for a medicines review.
* Check your eyesight – eye tests are free if you are over 60. Make sure you book a regular eye test with your local optician and discuss the use of your glasses.
* Home safety – take the time to think twice when doing tasks that might be more hazardous. Be aware of the risks around your home, such as standing on chairs or stools to reach high or awkward places, or stretching to change a light bulb. Always take care on the stairs and make sure you have good lighting, especially around stairwells. Talk to your GP if you have any concerns.
* Vitamin D – vitamin D helps keep bones healthy and strong. It is found in some foods but is mostly formed by the action of sunlight on the skin.
* Osteoporosis – The chance of developing osteoporosis increases as we age. Keep your bones healthy by eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D and taking regular, weight-bearing exercise. Discuss osteoporosis the next time you visit your GP or nurse.