Anyone can fall, but older people are more vulnerable than others. This is mainly because long-term health conditions increase the chances of someone falling.

Falls are a common, but often overlooked, cause of injury and sometimes death. Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 who live at home will fall at least once a year, and about half of these will fall more frequently. (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence NICE, 2013a). In the UK, injuries caused by falls are the most common cause of death in people over the age of 75 (NICE, 2013a).

Most people who fall are not seriously injured, but there is a risk of problems such as fractures. Falls can also have an adverse psychological impact on elderly people because some people may lose confidence, become withdrawn and feel they have lost their independence.

Newcastle University 2016

 

The main reasons why an older person may fall are:

  • Chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, dementia and hypotension, which can cause dizziness and a brief loss of consciousness
    impairments, such as poor vision or muscle weakness
  • Conditions that can affect balance, such as labrynthitis
  • The most common reasons for accidentally falling or slipping are environmental, such as; wet or recently polished floors, dim light, rugs or carpets that are not properly secured, reaching for storage areas, such as cupboards, or using the stairs.

Exercise programmes and home safety interventions have been shown by NICE (2013b) to reduce people's rate of falls and risk of falling and Tai Chi with the latter (Gillespie et al, 2012).

The fear and embarrassment of falling can prevent people talking about their fall or near miss which makes it more difficult to address the often complex reasons why someone is becoming more prone to falling.

There are many ways to improve someone's chances of being fall-free at home there are services in the Surrey Heath CCG area that support people to stay independent for as long as possible.

For a falls assessment if you have 3 of the 5 issues below:

  • A fall in the last year
  • Difficulty getting out of a chair
  • Balance or walking problems
  • Taking 4 or more medicines
  • Had a stroke or Parkinson’s disease

Call 08452417201 to give general information details and we will arrange for you to receive advice and assessment if appropriate.

Click here for the NHS Choices Falls Prevention website 

Click here for the Surrey Heath Borough Council Telecare website

Click here for the Arena Leisure Centre Get active 50+

Click here for the Furturelearn Aging Well Falls course 

Coming soon to Surrey Heath CCG area: dates will be available shortly

  • Seated exercise in Older peoples Sheltered Courts
  • Nepali Community seated exercise