Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing. Simple changes to your lifestyle and living environment can significantly reduce the risk of you falling.
One in three people over 65 will have a fall each year. Most falls don’t result in serious injury but there is a risk that a fall could lead to reduced mobility and loss of independence at home, making it harder to manage. It may also cause loss of confidence, making it harder to leave the house alone, resulting in feelings of frustration and isolation. A fall can be a warning sign that you need a medical check-up or medication review. Tell your GP (or healthcare practitioner) if you have had a fall or if you are concerned about falling - most causes are often quite treatable.
Falls Prevention Information
The booklets below give you important advice and information if you have had a slip, trip or fall or if you are concerned about falling.
The Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service can visit you at home to give you advice on your general wellbeing, including preventing falls as well as fire safety advice.
Facing up to Falls is a video which aims to provide families and older people with practical steps to avoid falls by highlighting key issues that can lead to a fall.
Strength, Balance and Physical Activity
Loss of muscle strength and balance mainly occurs through reduced physical activity and sitting for too long. Improving your strength and balance is the most effective thing you can do in preventing falls. Our bodies do change as we get older, but keeping up the strength and balance you need to do the things you need and the things you enjoy, is possible and important.
The human body is meant to move and at every age you can make significant gains in strength and balance, regardless of how old you are. It’s never too late to start - you are never too old!
Start with simple physical activities that you enjoy.
The resources below give you more information about what activities you can do to improve your strength and balance.
For more information about local exercise opportunities, contact your local council office or Age UK Gloucestershire on 01452 422660. Age UK Gloucestershire can also provide a free "Staying Steady" booklet.
How to get up safely after a fall
The clip below will show you how to get up safely after a fall.
Falls Assessment and Education Service
This service aims to reduce the number of people falling or at risk of falling in Gloucestershire through effective falls prevention information, education, assessment and intervention.
There is a clinical specialist physiotherapist based in each locality across the county. The physiotherapists provide specialist falls assessment with a focus on mobility, physical activity, balance and strength. This may be an outpatient appointment or may take place in the place of residence.
Advice and information will be given to reduce the risk factors with onward referral and signposting as necessary.
If you or someone you know, has had 2 or more falls in the last 6 months, to refer to the falls service, please follow the link: Self referral to Falls Assessment and Education Service
If you have any concerns about falling or wish to speak to someone about an assessment, please contact 0300 421 6241 or Email for further queries.
Medical Falls Assessment Clinics
The aim of the Falls Assessment Clinic is to provide medical-led, specialist multifactorial assessment and intervention to identify and reduce the risk factors for falls. Referrals are accepted from your GP, usually after simple tests for treatable problems have been undertaken.
Falls assessment clinics operate at Gloucestershire Royal, Cheltenham General, Tewkesbury and Dilke hospitals.