Patients over 65 years of age: stay active to prevent falls this winter

Nationally, 30% of people over 65 and 50% of those over 80 have at least one fall each year. During the Covid-19 pandemic many people have become less active, lost confidence and feel less steady when walking and moving around.

Here are our ‘Top Tips’ to reduce the risk of a fall:

Keep active in the home, get up more often and move around frequently.
Join your local Thai Chi, yoga, walking group, or any other exercise group.
Do strength and balance home exercises that will help you be safe and
steady and reduce your risk of falling. Try them with a friend or family member
to gain confidence. Do them at least twice a week for best results.
Make your home and garden safer, make sure your home is clear of trip
hazards particularly on stairs, in hallways, in the garden. Get good bright
lighting. Check the stability and height of your chair, bed, and toilet.
Minor adaptations could help e.g. handrails for stairs or in the bathroom.
 Make sure your walking stick or frame is in good condition including the
rubber ‘ferrules’.
Regularly check your eyesight and hearing and wear your glasses and
hearing aid.
Check your footwear. Your shoes and slippers should fit properly, cover the
heel and have good grip on the sole.
Medications: If you are on 4 or more and haven’t had a review recently,
speak to your GP.
For dizziness or fainting organise an urgent review by your GP. In the
meantime, get up slowly from bed or chair, count to 10 before moving off.
Nutrition and hydration: Drink 6 to 8 cups of water per day, or drink
decaffeinated tea and coffee. Avoid alcohol, eat plenty of protein, calcium and
Vitamin D rich foods to help your muscle and bone strength. Take Vitamin D
supplements.
 Think about a pendant or wrist alarm and other telecare equipment such
as bed sensors.
 Keep a mobile phone with you in case you need to contact others

If you have had a fall, nearly fallen, are worried about falling or if you have had
a significant change in your mobility,

 Contact the ‘Strength and Balance Helpline’ on 020 3049 5424 Monday to
Friday: 8.30-4.30 who can arrange any specialist assessment or treatment
needed. Family or friends can ring on your behalf. You can leave a message
and the team will call you back.

Websites for further advice and home exercises
Age UK advice and support: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/healthwellbeing/exercise/falls-prevention/
Public Health England: Active at Home leaflet
https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/50-resource-ordering/resources/5118
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy: Never too late to exercise leaflet
https://www.csp.org.uk/publications/never-too-late-physiotherapy-advice-maintaining-strength-we-age
NHS 24’s Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare (SCTT) Falls Assistant
Advice and Exercise Videos: https://fallsassistant.org.uk/

Useful Local Contacts in Lambeth:

My Community: Help and advice: For people in need of support
mycommunity@ageuklambeth.org – 0333 360 3700
We provide brief intervention, social prescribing support, allowing each person
space and time to focus on what matters to them. Each offer of support is individual
and could include:
 Providing information and support around housing or finances, including help
with claiming benefits.
 Introducing you to a new activity or local club
 Linking you in with services and organisations in your local area
 Helping you to be more active
Our team works across the Lambeth borough providing telephone and 1-2-1
support. Our services are open to anyone over the age of 18, in need of support.
The support line is open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm excluding bank holidays

Handyperson: Age UK Handy Fix – 0333 360 3990
The handyperson service in Lambeth is open to anyone in need. All work is
guaranteed and completed by trained professionals. All the profits from our service
go directly into supporting Age UK Lambeth’s vital work. We are also able to offer
cleaning and gardening. If you’re unsure, get in contact with us. Please note there is
a charge for some jobs. Common examples are –
 Key safe Fitting, Grab Rail Fitting, Hand Rail Fitting
 DIY jobs (hanging curtains, pictures, shelving, flat pack assembly)
 Toilet seat fitting (you must provide/purchase your own seat)
 TV re-tuning / TV remote control batteries fitting, Smoke detectors, light bulbs
 Moving furniture e.g. to make room for OT equipment/room adjustments

If your walking stick or frame is broken call the falls service on 020 3049 5424.
Ferrule replacement (the rubber feet on a walking stick or frame): Please ask at
your local chemist or disability shop.
Pendant / wrist alarm: A range of providers are available please ask for information
via Age UK. mycommunity@ageuklambeth.org 0333 360 3700