Anyone can have a fall, but falling is often a particular worry for older people. Many factors contribute to the risk of falling. Problems with vision are one of the most important.
Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling:
Go for regular eye tests
An eye test can identify problems with your eyes before they become serious. An eye test will also show if you need glasses. Adults in Scotland are entitled to a free eye test every two years, or every year if they are over 60.
Improve your lighting and declutter
Most falls happen at home. Simple changes can make a difference. Make sure pathways are clutter free and remove or secure rugs and mats. Good lighting is important, both indoors and outdoors. Lights should not cause glare or dark shadows as this can make it difficult to see. Carry a torch with you to use at night.
Use bold and bright colours at home
Good colour contrast makes things easier to see. Try to keep patterns to a minimum.
Stair rails can help provide stability. Coloured edgings can help identify individual steps. Do not carry too much when going up and down stairs.
Stay safe outdoors
Stick to familiar, well-lit, routes and try to use designated road crossings. Glare can reduce your vision. A brimmed hat or glare glasses can help. Wear sturdy shoes with good grip. If you think you might benefit from a walking aid, speak to a health professional about what type would be most suitable for you.
As we get older, exercise is very important for retaining strength and balance. If you are new to exercise, start with armchair exercises or try a gentle walk or a supported class at your local leisure centre.
Make a fall plan
Fear of falling can have a big impact on your confidence, independence and mobility. It’s a good idea to have a plan of what to do if you have a fall. You may want to carry a mobile phone with key contacts on speed dial or talk to your local social work team about getting a community alarm.
Tell your GP if you have a fall
It’s important to tell your GP if you have a fall even if you were not injured. They may check your blood pressure, medications, hearing, vision and foot health as these can all be risk factors for falls.
If you’re worried about falling, Visibility Scotland can help. Please get in touch on 0141 332 4632 or email@example.com