19th-24th September is Falls Awareness Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness on falls prevention and reducing falls risk. I thought I would start out with my favourite things you can do to decrease your risk of falling.
Falls Prevention Tips
1. Exercise regularly
Exercise is really the best thing you can do, staying mobile and strong reduces your rate of falling and the risk to yourself if you do fall.
2. Keep your bones strong
Strength exercise will help but you also need to be eating the right foods which means foods rich in calcium such as high-calcium milk, sardines, and cheese. To help the body absorb the calcium we eat then we need Vitamin D. We can get an adequate dose of vitamin D from sunlight during the summer months but in the winter this can be more difficult and the NHS recommend everyone over the age of 65 take a Vitamin D supplement.
3. Go for regular eye checks and hearing checks and be careful wearing those bifocals on the stairs!
Even small changes in sight and hearing may cause you to fall. When you get new eyeglasses or contact lenses, take time to get used to them. Always wear your glasses or contacts when you need them. If you have a hearing aid, be sure it fits well and wear it.
4. Check your slippers!
Nothing so comfy as a well worn pair of slippers, unfortunately if they are that comfortable they might also be a falls risk. Please check your slippers – that the sole is not worn and they are not loose fit. If you do need new slippers ensure they have good grip, they fasten up over the foot and stay on properly. And please, please do not tread the back down!
5. Play spot the hazard in your home
This is a difficult one as your home is your castle and the tatty rug that I see as a falls risk is a sunkissed memory of a favourite holiday for you. However in most instances if you can’t bear to change something there are ways you can mitigate the risk for instance making sure the rug has an anti slip layer undernearth and moving it to a low traffic area of your house. So have a look around and see what you can change without changing it from the home you love.
6. Tell your GP if you have fallen since your last appointment, even if you weren’t hurt.
You might not want to get an appointment just for the fact you fell if there were no injuries but next time you do have an appointment do mention the fall to them. A fall can alert your doctor to a new medical problem or problems with your medications or eyesight that can be corrected.
Hopefully there is something here you can implement to help decrease your risk of falls.
Next free Falls Prevention Workshop is the 14th October 10-12pm at Bassil Shippam Centre, limited places so place ring 07785 747669 to book your place.
Don’t forget if you are in the Chichester area there are two strength and balance classes a week.
- Strength and Balance Circuit Class on a Tuesday morning at 10:30am at the Newell Centre which has free parking. The cost is £6.00 per session and is 50 minutes long, if you want you are always welcome to stay after for tea (or coffee!) and biscuits. More information about this class can be found here
- Strength and Balance Group Class on a Wednesday morning at 10:00am at St Michaels Hall. The cost is £6.50 per session and is 50 minutes long.
The next post about Falls Awareness Week will be on Tuesday in respect for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on Monday 19th.
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