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There are ways you can reduce your risk of having a fall, including making simple changes to your home and doing exercises to improve your strength and balance.
If you have fallen in the past, making changes to reduce your chances of having a fall can also help you overcome any fear of falling.
Some older people may be reluctant to seek help and advice from a GP and other support services about preventing falls because they believe their concerns will not be taken seriously.
But all healthcare professionals take falls in older people very seriously because of the significant impact they can have on a person's health.
Discuss any falls you have had with a GP and say if it's had any impact on your health and wellbeing.
The GP can carry out some simple balance tests to check whether you're at an increased risk of falling in the future. They can also refer you to useful services in your local area.
- immediately mopping up spillages
- removing clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
- using non-slip mats and rugs
- making sure all rooms, passages and staircases are well lit
- organising your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum, and to avoid bumping into things
- getting help to do things you're unable to do safely on your own
- not walking on slippery floors in socks or tights
- not wearing loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
- wearing well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
- taking care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly and seeing a GP or podiatrist (foot health professional) about any foot problems
Doing regular strength exercises and balance exercises can improve your strength and balance,and reduce your risk of having a fall.
This can take the form of simple activities such as walking and dancing, or specialist training programmes.
The Aspire Health Referral Programme can help you in becoming healthier and will support you to make changes that will lead to improvements in your overall health. Our offer finds the best fit for you be it walking groups, specialised sessions in our leisure facilities or strength exercises to carry out at home also available https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/sport-health-and-leisure/healthy-living/aspire-health-referral
Look after your eyes and make an appointment to have a sight test if you're concerned that vision loss (even when wearing glasses) is increasing your risk of having a fall. Not all vision problems can be cured, but some problems can be treated with surgery – for example, cataracts can be removed using cataract surgery. https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/health-care-and-advice/public-health/eye-health
Wakefield District Sight Aid was formed in 1869. We are proud to have been serving local people in our community for 150 years. We are here to support anyone living with low vision, their families, carers and sight care professionals across the Wakefield District.
More information is found here on Wakefield District Sight Aid.
Drinking alcohol can lead to loss of co-ordination and exaggerate the effects of some medicines and can significantly increase the risk of a fall, particularly in older people.
Avoiding alcohol or reducing the amount you drink can reduce your risk of having a fall.
Find our how the amount of alcohol you are drinking may be affecting your health through this online self assessment
The Live Well Wakefield service provides information on a wide range of community services and support to help adults live healthy lives in the Wakefield District. www.livewellwakefield.nhs.uk
Health professionals and other staff can have an impact by:
- Routinely asking older people about falls
- Knowing how to recognize the signs and assess the risk
- Understanding the referral pathway to local services that reduce falls risk
- Help individuals to improve their health, making every contact count and signposting individuals to local support available
- Providing up to date patient information about falls prevention
- Ensuring individuals are having regular eye checks, and know to contact an Optician if they are concerned about their eyes in any way
Care Link supports over 15,000 customers to enjoy independence in their own home from just 73p per day.
We provide a range of discreet sensors, home visiting and a 24 hour responder service, in a range of packages to suit your personal needs and budget.
Please find more information at WDH: Care Link .
The Falls Assistant website is also a great resource for helping prevent falls- you can create an action plan, complete a self assessment and find information on helpful exercises and mobility aids.
MY Therapy is a community-based therapy service providing visits to patients in their homes and clinic settings that are registered with a Wakefield GP in the district and the surrounding area.
Rehabilitation can be provided in any community setting including patients own homes, residential Care homes, residential rehabilitation setting
The service specialises in the following areas:
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Post Covid 19 Assessment service
- Falls and Orthopaedics
- Generic Rehabilitation
More information found on MY Therapy.
West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service
During a safe and well visit we will:
- Accompany you to assess fire safety in every room in your property
- Identify and make you aware of the potential fire risks in your home
- Make sure you know what to do in order to reduce or prevent these risks
- Discuss with you, a bed-time routine that will help keep you safe at night
- Help you put together an escape plan in case a fire breaks out in the future
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm, and ensure you know how to test and maintain it
- Give basic advice on topics such as:
- Crime prevention
- Falls prevention
- Cold homes
- Smoking cessation
- Social isolation
- Assess the need for free interventions to help you reduce the risk of fire in your home
- Refer you (with your permission of course) to agencies that may offer further help to keep you safe and well.
Please see West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service for more information.