Each year about one-third of all people over age 65 will fall. The consequences can be significant, particularly for older people.
However, falls are not an inevitable part of growing older and there are things you can do to help reduce the risk of falling.
- speaking to your pharmacist about the medicines you are taking
- making simple changes to the home environment
- doing exercises to improve strength and balance
- to regularly have your vision and hearing checked
Assessment and advice
The Falls Management Service is a therapy-led service which offers specialist assessment and advice for people with a concern of falling or a recent history of falling.
The service is made up of a team of specialist falls practitioners. It is available for people living in West Northamptonshire who require support with reducing their risk of falling.
Preparing for your assessment
Prior to being assessed by the Falls Management Service, we recommend that you undertake the self-assessment tool on the 'Steady on Your Feet' website.
This assessment will provide you with a personalised plan to address any risk areas, as well as providing helpful advice and suggestions to further reduce your risk of falls.
Falls are not an inevitable part of growing older and can often be prevented.
The purpose of falls prevention is to enable people to live as independent and enjoyable a life as possible.
Although sometimes a fall may be an indication that something is wrong, often it's treatable. Falls are not an inevitable part of growing older and admitting to falling will not mean any loss of independence.
Understanding the risks and putting simple measures in place can help reduce the risk of having a fall. This includes making changes to the home and doing exercises to improve both strength and balance.
Assistive technology is available to help people be more independent and lead fulfilling lives.
The information below will help you to consider what measures need to be taken to reduce the risk of having a fall.
Advice on preventing falls in the home
- NHS Guide to keeping healthy and happy in later life
- Advice from NHS Choices on falls prevention
- Age UK advice on falls prevention
Video: facing up to falls
Getting more active is a great way of helping to prevent falls.
We rely on our balance to keep us upright when we over-reach or trip, but as we age our balance reaction times get slower and so do our reflexes. We also lose some of our muscle strength.
Being active is not just about doing exercise, but also incorporating more activity into your day-to-day life. In particular, exercise to target balance and strength will help to keep you on your feet and reduce your risk of having a fall, such as walking, gardening and fitness classes.
Opportunities to stay active
Attend a local OTAGO exercise programme to prevent falls.
In Northamptonshire there are lots of other opportunities to help you stay active:
You can also find a guide to preventing falls and keeping your balance on the SAGA website.
It’s never too early or too late to take steps to protect your bones from osteoporosis fracture risk.
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones lose their strength and are more likely to break, usually following a minor bump or fall. One in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 experience fractures, mostly as a result of low bone strength.
The loss of bone density increases the chance of breaking a bone. Having a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D will help, as will weight-bearing exercise.
The Royal Osteoporosis Society offers advice and guidance about living with osteoporosis and how to avoid fractures.
You can discuss the findings with the Falls Management Service when you are assessed.
Last updated 24 October 2022