Preventing and dealing with falls
Falls are the most frequent and serious type of accident for people aged 65 and over. They can lead to a loss of confidence, reduced independence, increased isolation and long-term health problems.
If you have a fall
- Keep calm and take time to think - are you injured or in pain?
- If you are not hurt and feel strong enough to get up, don’t get up quickly. Roll onto your hands and knees and look for a stable piece of furniture, such as a chair or bed. Hold onto the furniture with both hands to support yourself and, when you feel ready, slowly get up. Sit down and rest for a while. If you feel you need medical advice, you can call the NHS 111 helpline.
- If you need help but do not need to go to hospital, ring a friend or family member or Norfolk Swift Response tel: 0344 800 8020 (choose option 1). This is a 24 hour service which provides help, support and reassurance if you have an urgent unplanned need such as a fall. Norfolk Swift Response have specialist lifting equipment if you need it. If you feel you need medical advice, you can also call the NHS 111 helpline.
- If you are hurt or can’t get up and need immediate medical help, try to call for help, bang on the wall or floor, or use your call aid button if you have one. If possible, crawl to a telephone and dial 999 for an ambulance. Try and find a blanket or something to keep you warm. Move your leg and arm muscles regularly to produce heat.
Always tell someone close to you and your GP that you have had a fall, even if you have not been hurt.
Ways to prevent more falls
There are lots of ways you can help yourself to stay fit and healthy and keep your home safe so that you avoid trips and falls. Read our advice on how to prevent falls. Norfolk's Living Well have produced a slide presentation which provides information and advice on how to prevent falls in older people, and those with dementia. Download the slides here.
If you have fallen more than once
If you are aged 65 or over, and have had 2 or more falls in the last 6 months, you are eligible for a falls assessment to look at ways of reducing the risk of future falls. Call your local Hub for more information:
Norwich Locality: 01603 518444
South Locality: 01953 609419
North Locality: 01692 408027
West Locality: 01553 668777