Keep yourself safe from falls

Posted: 10/07/2018

There are easy and simple ways to reduce your risk – even if you’re already had a fall.

City West, Salford City Council, NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Salford Royal and Inspiring Communities have teamed up to show how people can keep themselves and their loved ones safe, strong, healthy and independent.

It’s a mixture of quick checks and simple exercises to improve strength and balance.

At home, trailing wires, loose rugs, worn carpets and piles of clutter you have to step around all increase your risk of falling. Better lighting and handrails could help.

Check that shoes and slippers grip your feet well and get rid of any that don’t. Sloppy slippers are a leading cause of falls in the home.

If you wear glasses keep them clean and check your prescription is up to date. If you take any medication and feel unsteady speak to your GP.

Keeping fit and active, quitting smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation and healthy eating, particularly calcium-rich foods for your bones are important at any age to help prevent long-term health conditions or obesity which can affect your balance and mobility. Exercise is also great for your mental health.

If you’re aged 19 to 64 doctors recommend at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling, walking or dancing, every week, plus two or more days a week working all the major muscle groups, including the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, arms and shoulders.

People over the age of 60 can also benefit from regular weight-bearing exercise such as walking, keep fit and tennis. Swimming and cycling aren't weight-bearing but will keep you fit and yoga or tai chi will keep you mobile, strong and supple. Speak to your GP before starting if you have not exercised regularly.

There are also six simple exercises you can do every day at home to improve your strength and balance and cut your risk of falls.

Holding onto a stable chair or surface which won’t move, the exercises consist of simple toe and heel raises and walking in line to improve your sense of balance and practising rising from a chair to strengthen your muscles.

Check out the campaign and exercises at www.salfordccg.nhs.uk/preventing-falls