Everyone can fall and falling is a common cause of injury.

People are more likely to fall if they:

  • Have a problem with their balance
  • Have weak muscles
  • Have any loss of vision (including wearing the wrong glasses)
  • Have loss of hearing
  • Are taking lots of medications
  • Have low blood pressure, which can make people dizzy if they stand too quickly
  • Are confused or not paying attention to their surroundings
  • Are malnourished

Falls can also occur in perfectly fit and healthy people if:

  • The floors are wet or highly polished
  • There is not enough light to see properly
  • Someone is rushing to get to a destination (e.g. to get to the toilet or answer the phone)
  • The floors are not clear of obstacles or are not level (including floor rugs)
  • Someone is reaching too far, particularly if they are trying to pick something up from the side or on a self above them
  • Ladders or step stools used to reach heights are not properly secured
  • They are under the influence of drink or drugs or become dehydrated and therefore faint
  • Their movement is restricted so they can’t use their arms and legs to balance (e.g. using elbow crutches)

Having a fall can be very scary and can have a big impact on how safe someone feels in their own home. They can cause a person to lose their confidence and when this happens, people can become withdrawn and stop doing activities that brought them pleasure. Unfortunately, this can make them more likely to have a falls as they might become less active and lead them to lose muscle strength and joint range of movement.

The good news is that there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of falling now!

If you are new to exercise, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has some information to help you get up and go with six exercises to stay steady

Age UK has some great resources to help get you moving

NHS Choices has information on how much you should be active and links to free exercise videos and fitness tips

Royal Osteoporosis Society

Take care of your eyes and ears

As we get older, our eyesight changes and we might find our hearing deteriorates.  It is very important to monitor this, as your eyesight is important to see clearly and avoid any obstacles. Changes in our hearing can make us unsteady on our feet and dizzy.

If you notice any changes, please book and appointment to get your eyes tested with your local optician or if you have hearing problems, speak to your GP.

Age UK have guidance on getting the most from your medicines

NHS Choices have information on the different types of medicine and how medicine become available

For help or information on continence, please visit the Health Board Pelvic Health physiotherapy service

Age UK provide some helpful guides on simple home changes that you could consider

Plan ahead

  • Do you really need to get up on the stepladder to get into a high cupboard?
  • Move cutlery, crockery or equipment you regularly use to a location that means you do not have to bend and stretch to access it
  • Ask for help to move furniture and boxes or plan to do gardening, home decorating or cleaning tasks that might be risky with another person

Additional links and information

Avoiding trips and falls at home


Avoiding a fall

AskSARA is a web-based resource that may be able to provide additional information and support on your home, getting out and about and support with medications and symptoms that increase you risk of falls