It’s never too late to improve your balance and reduce your chances of a trip. Here are some tips to avoid falling in the first place, and to get up again if you do take a tumble.
If you sit for long periods of the day, your circulation can slow down and you might find your joints feel stiffer than usual. This can put you at risk of a fall when you stand up.
If you have been sitting for longer than 20-30 minutes, think about getting up and moving about. Try these simple seated activities to loosen up in the morning before you start your day:
- Toe and heel taps – five times each foot
- Straighten knees one at a time – five times each leg
- Gently march your knees up and down for ten to 15 seconds before you stand
- Shuffle up to the front third of your chair and push up through your legs to standing; gently stretch your back and neck by standing as tall as you can.
How to avoid a fall at home
- Organise your home to keep climbing, stretching and bending to a minimum and to avoid bumping into furniture
- In the kitchen, move crockery and heavier items that you use regularly to a waist-high shelf
- Mop up spillages straight away so there is no risk of slipping
- Take care when getting up in the night to go to the bathroom. Have a lamp with a switch nearby to light your way. Use high-wattage light bulbs
- Remove trip hazards like clutter, trailing wires, frayed carpet and remove rugs
- Use non-slip mats, or put a carpet grip underneath
- Use a grip mat in the bath and shower, and if you have them, grab rails for getting in and out
- Avoid long, trailing clothes that might trip you up. Tack up a hem or put a belt around your waist and pull the excess material over the belt
- Wear well-fitting slippers and shoes in good condition that support the ankle and have a good grip. Avoid walking on slippery floors in socks or tights.
If you should fall, lie still for a minute, stay calm and check for injuries. If you are unhurt and think you can get up there are some steps you can take. Download the document below to see what they are.