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Simple steps to prevent falls

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SCAS says take simple steps to prevent falls

With autumn not too far away, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is encouraging everyone to take steps to avoid slips, trips and falls.

Everyone is at risk of falling, slipping or tripping over. These accidents can result in fractures and can lead to serious injury and even death.

However, there are simple measures people can take at home and in other settings to prevent falls.

Avoiding falls at home by:

·         Removing clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet;

·         Use non-slip mats and rugs;

·         Not walking on slippery floors in socks or tights;

·         Wearing well-fitting shoes with good grip;

·         Organising your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum.

By adopting some of these helpful tips into a daily routine, people can also integrate regular strength and balance exercises to minimize the chance of falling over.

Keeping active with activities including Tai Chi, gardening and dancing are great ways to boost your core strength and counteract muscle deterioration.

Mark Browning, Technician, SCAS, explained: “Falls are the most common cause of accidental death or serious injury amongst older people.  They affect about one third of all people over 65 and in very elderly people (over 85) this figure is nearly 40%. They cause injury, restrict activity, destroy confidence, increase isolation and reduce independence. As age advances, the incidence of falls increases, with women more likely to sustain a fracture than men.

“An ageing population means that the rate of falls and fractures are increasing. With light activity, walking, gentle exercise, healthy nutrition etc this will help reduce the risk if injury from falling. All falls should be reported to your GP.”

Other avenues of available care to help falls prevention include asking your GP to review your medicines annually if you’re on long term medication, ensuring you have regular sight tests and requesting a home hazard assessment from your local authority.