Falling doesn’t have to be part of getting older. There are simple things you can do to stop yourself falling.
‘Take Small Steps to Stay on your Feet’ gives you five easy tips to try and prevent falls and also information about what to do if you do suffer one.
Falls are a major problem for older people with more than 30% of over 65s falling every year, many more than once.
As well as causing injury and physical harm, having a fall can hurt your confidence and make you less likely to go out and about.
Here are our top tips for staying on your feet:
- Get checked out top to toe – have your eyes and hearing tested regularly, wear shoes and slippers that are comfortable and fit properly, and get your GP to regularly review your prescription medications
- Calcium keeps bones strong – eat a well balanced diet that contains calcium rich foods like dairy products, green leafy vegetables, bread and fish
- Get enough Vitamin D – to help keep your bones strong. Natural sunlight is a good way or take supplements from your GP or pharmacist
- Stay active – exercise such as walking, gardening and dancing can strengthen muscles, bones and improve balance
- Clear your way at home – make sure there’s nothing that might cause someone to trip or bump into them such as rugs, loose carpets and items lying on the floor
It’s good to have a plan in place for if you do fall. If you can’t get up move to a soft surface, keep warm, call for help and keep moving. If you feel you can get back up, make sure you do so carefully, and use a piece of solid furniture for support if possible.
More information about ‘Take Small Steps to Stay on your Feet’ can be found at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/fiveeasysteps or www.nhsinform.co.uk/falls. Alternatively, phone NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 (textphone 18001 0800 22 44 88), or click these links to download our flyer and poster.