How to reduce the risks of trips and falls.
There are ways to prevent trips and falls in the home including:
- ensure you have good lighting, particularly on the stairs and use high-wattage light bulbs
- make trailing cables safe using cable ties
- make sure mats and rugs are non-slip - remove or repair frayed carpet
- don't walk on slippery floors in socks or tights
- wear well-fitting shoes or slippers
- clear away clutter especially on stairs and by doorways
- organise your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum, and to avoid bumping into things
- get help to do things that you're unable to do safely on your own
- mop up spillages immediately
- buy your pet a bright collar and bell - then you will know if they are around your legs/feet
- always use a non-slip mat in the bath or shower
- fit grab rails in the bathroom
- sit in a chair of the right height to prevent falls when rising
Telecare (opens in a new window) might be an ideal solution for you if you're worried about having an accident and not being able to call for help.
Our occupational therapists can carry out an assessment. This will identify the likely risks of falling, how to reduce this, and equipment that can help.
Taking steps to improve and maintain health and general wellbeing is an important aspect of falls prevention. Keeping active, eating well, drinking enough fluids, paying attention to foot problems, and wearing properly fitting shoes can contribute to avoiding falls.
You could also try:
- taking regular exercise - dancing, gardening and tai chi are particularly good for improving your balance
- checking any medication you are taking does not affect your balance
- having regular eye tests to help identify problems that may affect your balance and coordination
- contacting your GP if you've had a fall or are worried about falling
- reporting any foot problems to your GP or chiropodist. Details of home visit foot care services can be found in our directory (opens in a new window)
You may want to ask your GP practice about strength and balance classes available in your area.
You may also be interested in the booklet Get up and go - a guide to staying steady (opens in a new window) from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.