What’s a fall?
The World Health Organisation defines a fall as ‘an event which results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level’.
Does this sounds familiar?
“I saved myself and didn’t hit the ground”
“I didn’t hurt myself, so it doesn’t count”
“It wasn’t my fault, the floor was uneven”
“I want to go out, but I’m afraid of falling”
If this is you or someone you know, you might like to read on.
Are you at risk of falls?
Complete the falls risk checklist to find out if you are at risk of falling. Not all falls are by older people- illness, disability or even having a new baby can increase your chance of having a fall.
How can I help myself?
- Exercise regularly
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
- Get up slowly from lying down or sitting
- Don’t rush
- Remove hazards
- Take medications as advised
- Look after your eyesight
- Use adequate lighting inside and outdoors
- Keep walking aids close
- Wear good footwear
- Plan what you would do if you fall over
- Seek help if you are worried about falling or have a slip, trip or fall
For information on falls in other languages, scroll to the bottom of this SA Health Website.
Who can help me and how?
Millions of dollars have been spent researching the topic of falls. Whilst individual circumstances vary as to the cause or contributing factors, there are common themes and interventions that have been shown to help. There is no magic bullet for reducing falls risks or occurrences but a shared approach by a team of health professionals has been shown to be the most effective. Below are just some of the ways they may be able to assist:
- Assess medical causes for falls, such as pain, low blood pressure
- review medication
- manage mental health conditions such as confusion or depression
- treat osteoporosis
- consider calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Assess mobility, strength and balance
- Create personalised exercise program
- Advice on walking patterns and aids
- Assess home activities, such as safety in the kitchen or bathroom
- Assess potential home hazards, such as flooring, steps or low chairs
- Advice on how to be safe, equipment, aids or home modifications
- identify medications or combinations of medications that may predispose someone to falls
- review medications in conjunction with GP or specialist
- screen and assess for foot problems and provide management
- advice on appropriate footwear
- Review your eyesight
- Advise on safe use of lenses, especially bi-focals
- Help you manage chronic conditions which may cause pain or contribute to falls
- Advice on continence concerns
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