Falls prevention

Easy read: Falls (NHS Direct Wales website, opens in a new window)

Falls are a major cause of disability and death in older people, and result in significant human costs in terms of pain, loss of confidence and independence. However, there are a number of ways that you can reduce your risk of falling:

  • keep active: focus on activities that challenge your balance and strengthen your legs, like gardening, dancing, tai chi or special balance and stability classes
  • check your eyes and hearing: regular sight tests and reporting ear pain or difficulties with hearing can identify problems that could affect your balance and co-ordination
  • check for home hazards: make sure your home is hazard-free and well lit and organise your things so that you're not at risk of tripping over any wires, clutter or loose or frayed carpets
  • eat well: eat regular meals and have a balanced diet, calcium and vitamin D are important for keeping your bones strong
  • have a medication review: certain medicines can make you feel faint or affect your balance, you can visit your GP pr your local pharmacy for a medication review
  • look after your feet: problems with your feet, especially anything that causes pain, can affect your balance; be sure to wear well-fitted shoes and slippers
  • getting in and out of bed:
    • take your time, you will be less likely to fall
    • sit on the edge of the bed for a few minutes to prevent dizziness when standing
    • if getting up in the night, make sure the room has the correct lighting
    • make sure your bed is the right height for you - talk to an occupational therapist
    • never put a mattress on top of another to raise the height as this will make the bed unstable
  • getting in and out of a chair:
    • if you have a choice which chair to use try one with:
      • extended arms with a non-padded rounded area where your hands can get a good grip and support you as you stand
      • space beneath the front of the chair which will allow your feet back increasing your upward thrust out of the chair
    • take your time, you will be less likely to fall
    • don't use a walking frame to help you get up, they are not designed for this purpose and may tip over

For help and support for preventing falls in Worcestershire, visit Falls prevention (Worcestershire Health and Care Trust website, opens in a new window).

Strong and Steady exercise classes

Strong and Steady Exercise Classes are designed for people who feel unsteady on their feet or have had a fall. The classes aim to improve strength and balance, and also to help people feel more confident when out and about.

How can I sign up to a Strong and Steady class?

To book onto a course you can either self refer or get your GP/Health Professional to contact the Sports Partnership on 01905 855498 or email PSI@worc.ac.uk

For more information on the class visit Strong and Steady Exercise Classes (Sports Partnership Herefordshire Worcestershire website, opens in a new window).

For more information on preventing falls visit Falls Prevention (NHS choices website, opens in a new window).

Useful links

Make your home 'falls-free' (Age UK website, opens in a new window)

Fall Check (Coventry University website, opens in a new window)

Eye health (NHS Choices website, opens in a new window)

Find services (NHS Choices website, opens in a new window)

Get up and Go, A Guide to Staying Steady (NHS Choices website, opens in a new window)