- An introduction to Falls Management
- Audio Interviews and Stories about Falls Management
- Some of the experts you can hear in this section
- Useful contacts and links
An introduction to Falls Management
Falls are a major cause of ill health for older people. Around one third of people aged over 65 are at risk of falling each year. Falls can lead to physical injuries such as fractured wrists and hips and you could have a long stay in hospital. Falling can also result in a loss of confidence and self-esteem and can lead to you losing contact with friends and family and increased isolation. Some people lose their jobs and even their homes after a bad fall or series of falls. But there are easy steps you can take to minimise your risk.
- One third of people over the age of 65 are at risk of falling each year
- 12% of the population in Barking and Dagenham are aged 65-84
- Around 600 people a year suffer a hip fracture in Barking and Dagenham
- Up to 20% of falls require medical attention
- The risk of fractures of the wrist or hip increase with age due to osteoporosis
- Falls are the most common reason for admission to residential care
- Around 50% of falls are preventable (Directgov)
What You’ll Find Out Here
In these pages you can learn about the most likely causes of falls and what you can do to reduce the risk. Our experts explain the hazards you might find in your own home and what you can do to improve your safety. You can hear about how your medication may increase your risk of a fall. And there are some useful tips on how you can alter your lifestyle and diet to make it less likely that you’ll suffer a serious fall.
Click on the chapters below to listen to the interviews
Chapter 1 - Why do people fall?
With Dr. Rob Fowler, Claire Corcoran and Amy Burchell
Falls can be prevented if you know what the risks are. You can take steps to change your environment or your lifestyle. The most common risks are within your home, but your age, medication, footwear and eyesight can all play a part.
Chapter 2 - What happens when you fall?
With Amy Burchell; Dr. Rob Fowler
Every year over a third of people over the age of 65 have a fall. For every 100 of those about 20 will need medical help and just under ten will suffer a fracture. Here you can find out about the physical consequences.
Chapter 3 - Osteoporosis
With Dr. Rob Fowler Dr. Rob Fowler
Osteoporosis doesn’t increase your risk of falling but it can make the consequences of a fall more serious. Osteoporosis causes bones become more fragile and more likely to break. Your risk of osteoporosis increases as you get older.
Chapter 4 - Social and psychological effects of a fall
With Dr. Rob Fowler; Kam Takhar; Amy Burchell
A fall can affect your confidence, your independence and your quality of life. It may cause you to become anxious and may mean you need extra help at home or even have to leave your home. The important thing is to maintain your independence.
Chapter 5 - What should I do if I fall?
With Amy Burchell; Dr. Rob Fowler
If you’re hurt, try to get help. Keep warm and keep moving. If you are unhurt, get up carefully, sit and rest. After any fall, it’s advisable to see your GP afterwards to see if there’s an underlying reason for the accident.
Chapter 6 - Hazards in the home
With Claire Corcoran; Dr. Rob Fowler; Amy Burchell
You may not think your home is dangerous – but it could be. Loose carpets or rugs, badly positioned tables or chairs, wires and bad lighting are just a few of the things that could cause a fall at home. And you can do something about almost all of them.
Chapter 7 - Making your home safer
With Claire Corcoran
There are simple changes you can make that will make your home safer. If you’ve had a fall your GP can arrange a visit from an occupational therapist who’ll visit your home and suggest changes that could reduce your risk of falling and improve your quality of life.
Chapter 8 - Is your medication causing your falls?
With Kam Takhar
Your medication can increase your chances of falling. It’s important to have your medication assessed if you have a fall. Your GP can arrange for you to have it changed if necessary.
Chapter 9 - Changing your medication
With Kam Takhar
It may be that your medication needs changing if your doctor feels it may have contributed to a fall. But sometimes changing the way you take a medicine can be just as effective in reducing your risk of a fall.
Chapter 10 - Hazards in the street
With Dr. Rob Fowler; Claire Corcoran; Amy Burchell
Be careful when going out and about. Many things can lead to a fall; perhaps take a friend or relative for extra confidence. It's important to take care and take your time.
Chapter 11 - How can I reduce my risk of falling?
With Amy Burchell; Claire Corcoran
You can make a fall less likely by keeping physically active – exercise is one of the best ways to prevent falls. You can also increase your bone strength through diet, make changes to your home and keep having regular eye tests to further reduce your chances of having a fall.
Chapter 12 - Rehabilitation after a fall
With Kam Takhar; Dr. Rob Fowler; Claire Corcoran
Recovering from a fall, especially a serious fall, can be a slow and painful process. In Barking and Dagenham there are rehabilitation services to help you get back up and about.
Chapter 13 - Amy’s Top five Tips
With With Amy Burchell of Age UK
Some of the experts you can hear in this section
Dr. Rob Fowler
Consultant Physician and Community Geriatrician, NHS Barking and Dagenham with a special interest in falls investigation and prevention; works at Queen's Hospital and Gray's Court.
Occupational therapist, NHS Barking and Dagenham working in the community and with the rapid response team.
Lead pharmacist for intermediate care, NHS Barking and Dagenham, specialising in falls prevention.
Help the Aged and Age Concern, now Age UK.
Useful contacts and links
- NHS Choices
- NHS Direct
- 0845 46 47
- London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
- Adult and Community Service Department
- 020 8215 3000
- Age UK
- Advice Line 0800 169 6565
- Open Monday to Friday 8am – 7.00pm
- National Osteoporosis Society
- Osteoporosis Helpline
- 0845 450 0230
- Open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
- (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents)
- 0121 248 2000
- Disabled Living Foundation
- Helpline 0845 130 9177
- Open Monday to Friday 10.00am – 4.00pm
- Abbey Sports Centre
- Axe Street
- IG11 7LX
- Bookings: 020 8270 6800
- Dagenham Swimming Pool
- Althorne Way
- RM10 7AY
- Bookings: 020 8270 6600
- Goresbrook Leisure Centre
- Ripple Road (A13)
- RM9 6XW
- Bookings: 020 8227 3976
- Wood Lane Sports Centre
- Wood Lane
- RM8 1JX
- Bookings: 020 8270 6880