PIP7: Stay Safe and Well All Year (Falls)

Stay safe and well All Year:
Make sure you know how to minimise the risk of you or someone you know falling or what to do if you or someone you know falls

Everyone is more at risk of a fall as they age; it’s a big cause of hospital admissions and can result in serious injuries and long-term conditions.  Whether you’ve fallen before or feel you may be at risk, or you know someone who has fallen or is at risk of falling, it’s vital to take steps to help minimise, and even prevent this happening.  Taking simple steps can reduce the risk of a fall, whether that’s in the home, outside or even in a public area.

Staying safe in your home (particularly in colder weather conditions)

We all generally feel safe in our own homes, but simple things around the house could cause you to trip or fall.  There are a number of things you can do in the home to help prevent falls from happening and generally stay safe and well, such as:

  • Keeping your home warm (minimum of 21 degrees for main living room / 18 degrees for bedroom).
  • Make sure lights are bright enough to see clearly.
  • Use lights at night e.g. going to the bathroom; going up and downstairs.
  • Make sure a light switch or lamp can easily be reached from the bed.
  • Have some food supplies ready if you can’t go out for a few days.
  • Always keep simple cold and flu remedies in the house.
  • Check all rugs have a non-slip underlay.
  • Use cable tidies to make sure there are no trailing wires.
  • Make sure walkways, doorways and stairs are clutter free.
  • Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so. Get up, stretch your legs and make yourself a warm drink.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol can lead to loss of co-ordination and exaggerate the effects of some medicines.  Avoiding alcohol or reducing the amount you drink can reduce your risk of having a fall. (Recommended 14 units per week for men and women).
  • Check on your neighbours and relatives to make sure they’re safe and well too.

Here are some useful websites to help you:
Falls prevention: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/falls/Pages/prevention.aspx

Home Safety Checks (South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue):

Speak up for older carers: https://socialcare.blog.gov.uk/2016/11/29/staying-well-is-not-always-easy-campaign-highlights-needs-of-older-carers/

Staying Warm and Well in Winter: www.ageuk.org.uk/winterprep

Staying safe outdoors (in colder weather conditions)

The following information will help you and others to stay safe and prevent a fall, or inform you of what to do if you do or someone you know does slip or fall.

  • Clear paths/driveways (ask a family member, friend or neighbour to help you), ensuring there is a clear pathway
  • Wear sturdy footwear with a good grip.
  • If you have walking poles – use them.
  • Take it slowly and allow yourself extra time to get from A to B, so you don’t find yourself rushing.
  • Keep an eye on what is underfoot.
  • Use rails and other stable objects that you can hold on to.
  • Wipe your feet well when entering buildings.
  • If necessary, ask a family member, friend or neighbour to pop to the shops for you.