Sadly as we get over the risk of falling increases. You are most at risk of a fall if you are over 75, female, are taking certain medication, have fallen before, and/or have conditions including Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, diabetes or dementia.
There are steps you can take to reduce your chances of falling. Here are some points to consider:
• Ensure you attend your optometrist regularly, at least once a year if you are over 65 and whenever you notice any changes to your vision.
• Have good lighting in the home. Ensure you have bright light bulbs that come on at full power, as opposed to taking some time to brighten up. Ensure you also have lamps where you need them, for example where you regularly sit to read.
• Also place nightlights in areas such as bathrooms, hallways and bedrooms if you get up during the night.
• Make sure your home is free from trip hazards, such as badly fitted carpets, and if you have rugs ensure they are secured to the floor.
• If you have been advised by your optometrist to wear glasses for distance (long-sightedness), ensure you wear them both in and out of your home.
• Wear suitable footwear both indoors and outdoors, ensuring all your footwear is sturdy with good grips on the soles.
• Where possible have a contrast in colour on your stairs, such as black edges, so they are easily definable. Fitting non-slip treads to stairs is also advisable.
• Wear sunglasses in bright light to avoid being dazzled by the sun.
• Use non-slip mats in baths and showers.
• Keep moving, ensuring you are physically active will improve strength and balance which will reduce you chances of falling.
If you are concerned about falling, please speak to your GP.