Falls can be serious. Although most falls do not cause injuries, one out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. These injuries can make it difficult for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live independently.
What Conditions Make You More Likely to Fall?
Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling. They include:
- Lower body weakness
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Difficulties with balance and walking
- Use of medicines such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants
- Vision problems or poor lighting that means you can not see clearly
- Leg or foot pain
- Poorly fitting footwear or footwear that is in poor condition
- Home hazards like:
- broken or uneven steps
- rugs, trailing wires or clutter that are a trip hazard
- no handrails on stairs or in bathrooms
Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling.
We shouldn’t see falls as a normal part of ageing, or something that ‘just happens’ as we get older.
There are lots of simple things you can do to help you stay steady on your feet and many risk factors can be changed or modified to help prevent falls.
The link below is a leaflet that gives more information including tips to reduce the risk of falls, what to do if you have had a fall and how to help someone who has had a fall. It can be downloaded and printed off for reference.