As people get older, it can be a little bit harder to do some of the things we take for granted doing every day. While this is a normal part of getting older, there are lots of things we can do to make sure that people over the age of 65 can do to reduce the risks of falls.
#FallProofBarnsley is here to provide information for how people and their loved ones can make small changes to stay happy and healthy at home.
Falls are a common and serious problem for older people; each year, 30 per cent of people older than 65 have a fall, rising to 50 per cent of people older than 80. In Barnsley, there were 1,305 emergency admissions to hospital for falls in 2019 to 2020 for people over 65 years of age.
For people to stay happy and independent, it’s important that the risks of falling are understood, so that small changes can be made to avoid it from happening. These risks should be taken very seriously because of the significant impact they can have on a person's health. Reduce the risk by:
- taking care of physical health
- making simple changes to the home
- exercising to improve strength and balance
How to help
You can help to reduce the risk of falls by making changes to lifestyle, your home and your health. If you’re worried about family, friends of neighbours, please share the information below so they can stay safe, happy and independent.
Regular ear checks help to prevent falls due to dizzy spells and poor balance. GP’s can make referrals specialists and if hearing loss affects everyday life, our sensory impairment service is here to help.
Independent living at home with Able
For people who have concerns about a loved one staying safe at home, Able offers a range of assistive living technology from the Independent Living at Home service for people who might need extra support to live independently in their own home for longer.
Able’s Disabled Facilities Grants team can also help to provide adaptations for people with disabilities, including things such as stairlifts, ramps and showers.
Some medication can have side effects that make people more likely to fall, so people should have a yearly review. It’s a good idea to avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol as this can contribute to the development of osteoporosis.
Poor vision can increase the risk of falls, even when wearing glasses, it’s a good idea to visit an Optician for a sight test. Regular checks every two years can also help prevent sight loss by identifying problems early.
Properly fitting slippers and shoes
Although old slippers may be comfortable, they can become loose. To help older people to stay on their toes, properly fitted shoes and slippers can help reduce slips and trips. Podiatry services can be accessed through a GP who can make a referral.
Reduce risks in the home
One of the most important ways to reduce falls in the home and to stay independent is by removing clutter, trailing wires and rugs. Spills and slippery floors are also common culprits, so it’s important to avoid these and investigate any problems. At night, it can be hard to see hazards, nightlights in the corridors, for example, can be good ways to make journeys around the house safer.
The What's Your Move website has lots of resources for low-impact, easy exercises and ideas to improve strength and balance. Doing regular exercise can improve strength and balance, reducing your risk of falling.
To find out what activities are available in your area then ring Age UK Barnsley on (01226) 776820.
Find out more about Age-friendly Barnsley
Did you know that Barnsley is a member of the UK network of Age-Friendly Communities? We're working with partners to make sure that everyone can enjoy a healthy and active life in our borough. Find out more about Age-friendly Barnsley.