Health checks including regular eyesight and hearing tests, medication reviews and foot care can all help prevent falls.
- Have your eyes tested regularly - some opticians will come to your house if you can’t get to them easily
- Make sure rooms and hallways are well lit - poor lighting will increase your risk of tripping over something
- Medicines such as anti-depressants or sleeping tablets can make you drowsy or un-coordinated and increase your risk of falls
- Others, like blood pressure tablets, can cause your blood pressure to drop and make you feel dizzy when you stand up
- Ask your GP to review your medication if you think it gives you these side effects. It’s important to talk to your GP before you stop any medication
- If you're taking long-term medication, your GP should review your medicines at least once a year to make sure they're still right for you
- It's also particularly important that your medicines are reviewed if you're taking 4 or more medicines a day
As we age, our feet can change shape and lose some feeling and flexibility. This changes the way we walk and affects balance. Some shoes or slippers can also make you more likely to slip, trip or stumble, leading to a fall.
Look after your feet:
- See your doctor or a podiatrist, if you have painful or swollen feet, tingling or pins and needles in your feet, or if you have any changes in the shape of your feet (eg bunions)
- Ask a podiatrist, a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist for ways to improve circulation and reduce pain in the legs and feet
- Foot and ankle strengthening exercises can help reduce your risk of falling
- Wearing correctly fitting, supportive shoes can also help reduce your risk of falling
- Talk to your GP if you’re finding hearing difficult as it could be affecting your balance.
Research has shown that even a mild degree of hearing loss triples the risk of an accidental fall. The risk increases significantly as hearing loss increases.