It can be scary observing a loved one or a friend being less steady on their feet, or not as confident as they once were. However rather than ignoring the issue, or just thinking it’s a consequence of aging, it’s worth trying to have a conversation to find out why it maybe happening. Falls are not a natural part of ageing, there are a lot of risk factors that are modifiable and don’t just have to be lived with.
People can be reluctant to discuss things because they don’t like getting older or because they are worried about what might happen if they admit they may need some help. It is important to be positive in interactions and emphasis that by taking steps to prevent falls they will preserve their health and independence for longer.
Encourage them to have a conversation with their GP or pharmacist, especially if they feel the changes might be due to medication.
Look for Falls Prevention classes in their area, many are funded so maybe cheap or even free.
Encourage them to practice their balance using these 6 simple exercises
Discuss what would happen if they did fall, how would they call for help? How would they keep themselves warm? Would they be able to get up if no injury, and if so do they practice getting up from the floor weekly?
Go round the house with them and identify areas which might cause them to fall, do they have adequate lighting all over the house (could motion detector lights help if they don’t want to leave lights on) are there rails in place if they find steps difficult? Is the pavement leading to their front door safe? Be mindful that this is their home however, a rug you might think presents a danger might be a good memory for them, instead of getting rid of it could they move it?
At the moment the statistics show that around 1 in 3 adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year so it is worth having a conversation with a loved one to make sure they are not part of that statistic.
The 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.
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