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How to avoid slips, trips and falls

Posted on 17/06/2013

Sometimes just the fear of falling is enough to keep us from living life to the full and yet, by taking some simple steps, many falls can be prevented.

If you are worried that your balance is deteriorating or if you have had even a minor fall, the first step is to discuss the possible causes with your GP. You can also speak to Age UK.

If you do have a fall, don’t panic!

1. Take a couple of minutes to gather your thoughts.

2. Check you are not hurt; see if you can move your arms and legs without pain.

3. Try to get up. Roll onto your knees and crawl to a spot where you can pull yourself up with support.

4. Get help if you can. Attract attention by banging on the wall or floor, or use a mobile phone or community alarm if you have one.

5. Keep yourself warm. Try to cover yourself, keep wriggling your fingers and toes and if there is a wet patch nearby, roll away to a drier spot.

Reduce the risk of falling

Keep walkways and stairs clutter-free. Organise your rooms so that appliances are close to plug sockets and cables do not trail over the floor

Avoid loose rugs and mats or tape them down, and sort out wrinkled or worn carpets

Use night lights around your home, especially in tricky areas such as by the stairs, and always change broken bulbs immediately, asking for help as necessary

Always wipe up spills and avoid wet surfaces, especially in bad weather

Make sure drawers and cupboards are properly closed

Use grab rails where necessary but ensure they are fixed firmly

Make sure you always use your walking and mobility aids to increase stability

Wear appropriate, safe footwear and replace slippers and shoes when the tread wears or the soles become uneven

This article was written for You're the Boss by Jackie Bennett

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