Falling, or feeling at risk of falls, is not an inevitable part of getting older. It may be the first sign of a new or worsening health condition (e.g. infection, dehydration, etc) so it is important to tell your GP if you do have a fall.

The more details you can remember about a fall, the easier it is to pinpoint a cause so think carefully about:

  • When it happened – Was it related to time of day? Were you doing something specific at the time?
  • How it happened – Was it a loss of balance? Did you trip on something? Did you go dizzy? Did you blackout?
  • Where it happened – is there a trip hazard you could remove? Have you fallen in this place before? If so, why could this be?

Often, rather than one specific reason, there may be a number of underlying risk factors which have played a part, many of which can be reduced by following some simple advice.

These issues may include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor balance
  • Dizziness
  • Environmental hazards 
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Foot pain, deformity or numbness
  • Badly fitting or unsupportive footwear 
  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Poor nutrition
  • Medications 
  • Bladder and bowel conditions
  • Alcohol consumption

Falling can have an impact on your confidence which may then lead to a vicious cycle of reduced activity and a further increase in falls risk.

Taking a pro-active approach, even if you haven’t had a fall, will help you take control of the situation and allow you to remain active and independent for longer with an increased quality of life in the long term.