Are you at risk of falling or have you had a fall? Anyone can fall at any time. A fall may follow a simple slip or trip, or it may be as a result of a medical condition.
Take this simple test to work out if you are at risk of falling.
Age UK also has a useful video that you can watch, to help you reduce your risk of falling.
Falls prevention exercises
This video shows some simple exercises you can do to help prevent falls.
10 top tips
Ask your GP or pharmacist to review your medication and pain relief. Some common medicines can make you feel faint or dizzy, so let them know if you experience any of these side-effects. They can check the dose or look at alternative medicines. See our information about taking medicines safely and effectively.
2. Falls Prevention Team
To prevent you from falling again, or to reduce your risk of having a fall, your GP may recommend that you get support from your local Falls Prevention Team. You can find details of these services on our directory website Staffordshire Connects.
3. Eyesight and hearing
Have your eyesight and hearing checked yearly. Vision and hearing play a vital role in balance and movement.
4. Stay hydrated
Dehydration (not drinking enough) can make you feel tired, dizzy and more unsteady on your feet, which could cause a trip or fall. See the hydration page for more information.
5. Healthy balanced diet
A healthy balanced diet will help to keep your bones healthy. Calcium and vitamin D are important for strong bones.
See our eating and drinking pages for more information.
6. Keep active
Regular physical activity helps to strengthen muscles and improves balance and co-ordination. Find out how much activity you should be aiming for. You can also use this health and wellbeing planner to find out ways to keep active across Staffordshire.
See our page about physical activity for older people for more information.
Ensure your home is well lit, especially on the stairs. Keep the landing light on or use a motion-sensor night-light, to light the path to your bathroom. Print out and use this home safety checklist to identify common hazards in your home:
8. Personal alarms
Wear a personal alarm or consider buying one. These can call for help if you fall or have a problem at home. They range from:
- basic personal alarms that you press to get help (e.g. they make a loud noise to attract attention or they can send a signal to a carer or relative)
- more robust telecare systems (e.g. pressing the alarm automatically connects you to a 24/7 call centre that can arrange help)
Some even have sensors that can actually detect falls or other dangers, such as gas. These automatically raise the alarm in an emergency.
See this helpful article on choosing personal alarms.
9. Look after your feet
Foot problems (like foot pain) can affect balance, so talk to a GP or podiatrist about any foot issues. Ensure shoes and slippers fit well. Cut toe nails regularly to keep feet feeling comfortable.
10. Handrails and grab rails
Consider fitting handrails or grab rails on the stairs, external doorways and in your bathroom.
There are lots of affordable daily living equipment and technology products available, that can help prevent falls. Some things can even be bought from supermarkets or high street shops.
The AskSara website gives useful advice on what’s available to prevent falls.
What should I do if I fall? Back to top
The NHS gives guidance about what to do if you or someone you know has a fall.
RoSPA has also produced this helpful video about getting up safely after a fall at home.
If you have a fall, do not ignore it. Let your GP know. Many underlying causes of falls can be treated or corrected.