People in Lancashire and South Cumbria have been urged to do all they can to minimise the risk of a fall.
Almost 1,000 people in the North West died following a fall at home in 2020 and falls are the number one reason older people end up in A&E, with around one in 20 sustaining a broken bone and needing a hospital admission.
But by following a few simple steps and making one or two changes around the home, you can help reduce the risk of yourself or an elderly relative from falling.
Prof Sarah O’Brien, chief nursing officer for NHS Lancashire Integrated Care Board (ICB), the organisation that plans and buys health services, said: “By staying as fit as possible and keeping the house as clutter-free as possible, it is possible to save lives.
“Falls can be more common in those with reduced physical activity and poor vision, so there are things that can be done to help in these situations.”
Taking some of the following simple steps can significantly reduce the risk of a fall. Make sure your home is safe:
- Immediately mop up spillages.
- Remove clutter, trailing wires and tape down frayed carpet.
- Use non-slip mats and rugs.
- Make sure all rooms, passages and staircases are well lit.
- 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 you are unable to do safely on your own.
Be safe and take care of yourself:
- Don’t walk on slippery floors in socks or tights.
- Avoid wearing loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up.
- Wear well-fitting shoes in good condition that support your ankles.
- Take care of your feet by trimming your toenails regularly.
- See a GP or podiatrist (foot health professional) about any foot problems.
If you can, get more active. Regular strength and balance exercises can significantly reduce your risk of having a fall. Advice on how to perform some simple and quick exercises are available on the Healthwise website. Visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/NHShealthwise and select ‘self care’.
For more information on falls prevention, visit: Falls – Prevention – NHS (www.nhs.uk)