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Trips & falls

Falls are NOT a natural part of ageing. Falls can lead to a long stay in hospital resulting in loss of confidence, self esteem and reduced independence.

Falls in older age can happen for a number of reasons:

  • Medication
  • Sensory Impairment – Sight and Hearing (including balance problems)
  • Infection
  • Poor mobility, balance and co-ordination
  • Lack of hand rails or poorly positioned hand rails
  • Limited space to move around
  • Flooring that is poorly fitted such as rugs and mats
  • Uneven or slippery flooring
  • Poor lighting
  • Poorly fitting footwear

There are some practical steps that you can take to reduce the risk of falling and to stay safe and independent.

  • Keep physically active
  • Have regular medication and health reviews with your GP or community pharmacist
  • Have regular eye checks. Eye tests are free if you are over 60
  • Have regular hearing tests – hearing problems can affect balance and concentration
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
  • Keep the floor and stairs clutter free
  • Remove unsecure rugs
  • Ensure that stairways are well lit. Consider night lights and hand rails for extra safety
  • Grab rails and non slip mats can make your bathroom and toilets safer
  • Try to store objects you use everyday at a reasonable height
  • Wear well fitting shoes and slippers

If you have fallen or are worried that you are at risk of falling, in the first instance you should contact your GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647.

Remember, many falls can be prevented allowing you to continue living independently and safely at home.

Useful links

Strength and balance training
A specialist service for strength and balance training is available in Carmarthenshire. Ask your GP about referring you for this training or call the Health and Activity Coordinator for Older Adults on 01269 830006.

Careline+
First point of contact to request advice or Social Care Service for older and physically disabled adults.
Tel no: 0300 333 2222

Telecare - Carmarthenshire
Telecare consists of various sensors placed around the home linked to a home unit which is monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by a monitoring centre, allowing swift action to be taken should an incident occur.
Tel no: 0300 333 2222

Age Concern Cymru
Information on staying fit and healthy to help minimise the risk of falling.

Care and Repair
Can help you to remain living safely and securely in your own home by providing advice and practical assistance with maintenance, repairs and adaptations. For example, extra handrails on stairs and grab rails in bathrooms.

Mid and West Wales Fire Service
For a FREE home fire safety check including the provision, and fitting of smoke detectors.

British Red Cross
Support independence in the home.

NHS Direct Wales
Provide information on Falls Prevention, they can be contacted on 0845 4647.

Page updated on: 09/11/2016

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