The more details you can remember about a fall, the easier it is to pinpoint a cause so think carefully about:
- When it happened – was it related to time of day? Were you doing something specific at the time?
- How it happened – was it a loss of balance? Did you trip on something? Did you feel dizzy? Did you blackout?
- Where it happened – is there a trip hazard you could remove? Have you fallen in this place before? If so, why could this be?
If you are falling it can be helpful to keep a falls diary so you can track your falls over time. This allows for any trends to be identified and find strategies to prevent or reduce your falls.
Often, rather than one specific reason, there may be a number of underlying risk factors which have played a part, many of which can be reduced by following some simple advice.
These issues may include: -
- Memory loss or confusion
- Vision and hearing problems
- Poor nutrition and hydration
- Medications or poor pain control
- Alcohol consumption
- Bladder and bowel conditions (including incontinence)
- Muscle weakness
- Poor balance
- Foot pain, deformity or numbness
- Badly fitting or unsupportive footwear
- Environmental hazards
Falling can have an impact on your confidence which may then lead to a vicious cycle of reduced activity and a further increase in falls risk.
Taking a pro-active approach, even if you haven’t had a fall, will help you take control of the situation and allow you to remain active and independent for longer with an increased quality of life in the long term.
Other medical conditions and Falls
It is well known that some medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and a history of a Stroke can increase your risk of falls. If you are concerned about how your past medical history may be affecting your falls risk, please discuss this with your GP or an appropriate healthcare professional, such as a specialist nurse who can help you manage your falls risk with your individual needs.