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Reduce your risk of falls

By looking after yourself and keeping well, you can reduce your risk of falling and getting other health related conditions.

There are some simple steps that you can take to keep your general health good and reduce your risk of falling.

Limit your alcohol intake

Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis and to spread your drinking over 3 or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week.

Eat a healthy nutritious diet

Have regular meals, including breakfast and plenty of non-alcoholic drinks. Be aware of your own mobility. You may want to consider using a walking aid to support you.

Use walking aids

Walking aids can readjust your weight to a more central position and therefore reduce joint and limb pain. It is important to ensure you have the correct walking aid that it is appropriate to your individual needs. Talk to your GP, occupational therapist or physiotherapist if you feel a walking aid would be beneficial.

Live Life Better Derbyshire

Live Life Better Derbyshire is a free health and well-being programme which supports people to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

This includes stop smoking advice and support, healthy eating and weight management groups and mental well-being support. You can also take part in a self-assessment. To find out more about Live Life Better Derbyshire you can contact the service by:

email:  llbd.info@derbyshire.gov.uk

Tel: 01629 538200

Free phone: 0800 0852299

Medication reviews

It’s important to make sure your medications are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are working properly and any side effects are safely managed. Some medications have side effects that can leave you feeling light-headed, dizzy or unstable on your feel and therefore increase your risk of falling.

If you experience any side effects it is recommended that you talk to your GP or pharmacist.

Eyesight

As we get older our eyesight and eye health deteriorate, which if not carefully managed can increase our risk of falling.

It is advisable to see an optician for an eye test. People aged over 60 are eligible for free NHS eye tests.

You can also get help and advice on older people’s eye healthor view our page on support for people with sight impairment.

Hearing and ear health

A loss of hearing can cause you to feel dizzy and affect your balance and stability. It is important to have your hearing checked regularly to identify and correct any hearing defects. Any hearing loss, which may be temporary, due to an ear infection or other condition, will impair your balance and reduce your awareness of the environment around you; such as walking safely or hearing vehicles.

Read more about support for people with hearing impairments.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break.

It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a minor fall or sudden impact causes a bone fracture. The most common injuries in people with osteoporosis are wrist and hip fractures.

You can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis by taking regular exercise, including; weight-bearing exercises, stop smoking, eat a healthy balanced diet and make sure you get enough vitamin D.

Other health issues

Try to consider other health conditions that you may have that could increase your risk of falling; such as bladder or bowel problems that cause you to rush to the bathroom.

This can be particularly dangerous if you are getting up in the night, when it’s dark and obstacles are not so easily negotiated. If you do have to get up in the night it might be worth considering having a commode in your bedroom to save going to the bathroom or perhaps installing a handrail to help support you access the bathroom more easily and safely.