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
  • Incontinence

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.

Useful links on falls and how to prevent them: 

Stay Stronger for Longer: A Peterborough guide to staying steady and doing the things you enjoy

Stay Stronger for Longer: A Cambridgeshire guide to staying steady and doing the things you enjoy

NHS Falls Prevention

RoSPA Home Safety Videos