Anyone can have a fall, but older people are more vulnerable and likely to; especially if they have a long-term health condition. Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls which can cause the person to loose confidence, become withdrawn, and feel as if they have lost their independence.
So as the cold weather sets in, here are some ways reduce the risks of having a fall:
- slippers and footwear – ensure your shoes have well gripping soles on them even if you’re just in the house
- remove rugs which can be a trip hazard
- use non-slip mats in the bathroom
- mop up spills to prevent wet, slippery floors
- ensure all rooms, passages and staircases are well lit
- remove trip hazards such as rugs, wire and any clutter on the floor
- get help lifting or moving items that are heavy or difficult to lift
If you feel unsteady on your feet or have had a fall, you should tell your GP who can check your balance and walking and refer you for a falls risk assessment if necessary. You can also take the Falls Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT) on the NHS website.
The charity Age UK has more advice about how to make tasks easier around the home. You can also read more about ways to reduce the risk of falling on the NHS website. If you need help with your mobility and getting round your home, check your eligibility over at the Manchester City Council website. You can also book your free Safe and Well visit from Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.