Support is available to help disabled people and older people stay in their own homes and live independently.
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 direct your friends and family to SAGA - Get up and go, falls guide if you think that they are at risk.
How to reduce your risk of falling
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.
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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
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
Use the Tyne and Wear Fire service virtual tool to help identify fall risks in your home in case of a fire.
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.
These have been developed so an older person can carry out their own self-assessment of risk and develop a personalised action plan.
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