Falls

Support is available to help disabled people and older people stay in their own homes and live independently.

Support in your home

Falling is not necessarily part of getting older, not only the frail or infirm fall.

Experts believe that the vast majority of falls could be prevented with some modest changes to our lifestyle and home. Medically speaking, falls are often a warning sign that something isn't quite right but it's often something quiet treatable.

Get up and go tackles common myths about falling. It includes a checklist to help you to decide whether you're at risk. There is plenty of advice on how you can reduce your chances of having a fall by improving your balance, muscle strength and more.

You could share a copy of this booklet with your friends and family if you think that they are at risk.

Icon for pdf Download the Get Up and Go booklet [2.65MB]

How to reduce your risk of falling

Regular exercise

Doing regular exercises can improve your strength and balance, and reduce your risk of having a fall. Try simple activities such as walking and dancing, or specialist training programmes. 

Many community centres and local gyms offer exercise programmes for over 50's. Exercises that can be carried out at home are also available. There's also evidence that taking part in regular tai chi sessions can reduce the risk of falls. Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that places particular emphasis on balance, co-ordination and movement.

To see what's happening near you visit:

Age UK classes

Gateshead's Older People's Assembly, what's on

OurGateshead

Go Gateshead

Avoiding falls at home

To reduce the risk of falling in your home:

  • immediately mop up spillages
  • remove clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
  • use non-slip mats and rugs
  • use high-wattage light bulbs in lamps and torches, so you can see clearly
  • organise your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum, and to avoid bumping into things
  • get help to do things that you're unable to do safely on your own
  • don't walk on slippery floors in socks or tights
  • don't wear loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
  • wear well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
  • take care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly
  • see a GP or chiropodist about any foot problems

Falls services

GP Services

Your GP is the best person to contact for local services and they can help to answer your concerns about falls.

Concerned about your risk at home

If you feel you are not managing independently at home you can request an assessment of your needs by contacting Adult Social Care Direct on 0191 433 7033.

Home safety check

Tyne and Wear Fire service offer free falls advice as a part of their home safety checks. To request a home safety check call 0800 0327777 or visit their home safety checks webpage 

Disabled facilities grant

The disabled facilities grant can be used towards essential home adaptations which can give disabled people, their families and carers freedom of movement into and around the home and to provide access to essential facilities within the home. The main adaptations facilitate access to the living room, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen plus access and egress to and from the property. For more information please visit our page on equipment to make your home more suitable.

Information about falls

The NHS website provides information and self-management advice for falls prevention and management, and fracture prevention.

Self-assessment resources

These have been developed so an older person can carry out their own self-assessment of risk and develop a personalised action plan.

Make your home 'falls-free'. A check list. 

Falls Assistant

Other resources

Caring for your eyes.

Your 'falls-free' plan. Protect your independence by reducing your chance of falling. 

Healthy eating. Your guide to eating well.

Healthy living: Maintaining a health body and mind.

Staying Steady. Improving your strength and balance.

Living with early stage dementia.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose their strength and are more likely to break. To find out more, visit:

All about Osteoporosis 

Healthy bones 

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