Falls prevention

Falls can happen to everyone but, as we get older, the likelihood of a trip or stumble increases. However, the good news is that falls of this kind are not an inevitable part of getting older.

The benefits of preventing a fall include maintaining your mobility, independence, and the ability to do more of what you enjoy.

Things to watch out for

Many people don't think a fall will happen to them but you are more likely to have a fall if you...

  • Have had a previous fall
  • Have a fear of falling or reduced confidence
  • Feel unsteady on your feet
  • Are finding walking or moving around more difficult than you used to
  • Have painful joints
  • Are taking four or more medications, especially medicines for things like high blood pressure, sleeping tablets, anti-depressants and strong painkillers
  • Have ongoing health conditions such as heart disease, history of a stroke, diabetes, arthritis (especially in your back, hips, knees or feet
  • Are a bit more muddled or forgetful than you used to be?
  • Find it harder to control your bladder
  • Cannot see or hear as well as you used to.

Eight myths about falls

We dispel some of the confusion that exists about falls. For a fact-sheet, please see the link at the foot of this page.

There are some simple things you can do to help reduce your risk of falls

n Ask yourself, have I fallen in the past year or felt increasingly unsteady on my feet? If yes, research recommends that you ask for a falls risk assessment with a trained person to look at the things that may be causing you to feel unsteady and look at what sort of things would help to reduce your risk of falling in the future.

n Consider booking an appointment for a falls risk assessment

  • If you live in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough and have difficulties managing every day activities such as getting on/off your chair or walking around your home, contact your local Neighbourhood Team for a falls risk assessment run by CPFT.
  • Cambridgeshire residents who are 65+ years and able to manage everyday activities should contact the Everyone Health Falls Prevention Health Trainer service to arrange a falls assessment with this local, NHS approved, free and friendly falls prevention service. Telephone: 03330 050093 or email changepointcambs@everyonehealth.co.uk.

n Ask your pharmacy to review the medicines you use. If this has not been done in the last year and you take more than four different types of medicines each day (especially medicines for things like high blood pressure, sleeping tablets, anti-depressants and strong painkillers).

n Take part in a strength and balance exercise programme run by a qualified healthcare professional or exercise 


Strength and balance classes

Strength and balance classes are designed to be friendly, fun and social and details of them in Cambridgeshire can be found here and in Peterborough here.

Families can help loved ones, too

  • Help your loved one to access information about falls on the Internet, if required
  • Find out if your older loved one is experiencing any problems with managing their own health. Are they having trouble remembering to take their medications - or are they experiencing side effects? Is it getting more difficult for them to do things they used to do easily?
  • If your loved one is able, encourage them to be as active as possible and find ways to be active together (shopping, etc)
  • Notice if they’re holding onto walls, furniture, or someone else when walking or if they appear to have difficulty walking or arising from a chair. These are all signs that it might be time for a falls assessment

The page was last updated on 18 November 2019 by andrea.bateman.

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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
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Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
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