Fear of Falling
The more worried you become about falling over, the less likely you are to keep active which, in turn, makes you more likely to fall again. You may find that you are more careful with your walking, start to slow down your pace or you begin to leave the house less often. These are very common behaviours and it may mean you’ve lost some of your confidence when getting around. It is important to remember that there are lots of things that you can do to reduce your risk of falling and improve your confidence. It is really important to keep moving as this maintains muscle strength, see the movement and exercise section for more information. Working through the self-assessment tool on this website is a great start.
Having a falls plan in place can help to reduce anxiety and will reduce the likelihood of being on the floor for a long time. You may want to consider the following as part of your falls plan:
- Have a pendant alarm or mobile phone with you at all times. It may also be helpful to keep a phone at a lower level.
- There are also telecare sensors available such as falls detectors for people who would not be able to press a pendant alarm.
- Keep a dining chair in any room that doesnt have furtniture that might help you stand up.
- Make sure there are blankets in each room so that you can keep warm
If you are hurt or unable to get up:
- Summon help by using your pendant alarm, calling out, crawling to a telephone or banging on a wall
- Use a blanket to keep warm.
- Move to a softer surface if you are able
- Change position regularly if you are able
If you are unhurt and feel you can get up:
- Roll over onto your hands and knees
- Crawl to a stable piece of furniture such as an armchair and use this to assist you with getting up
- Turn and sit on a chair or bed and rest for a while
If you are worried about falling when you are alone at home, you might want to get a pendant alarm to enable you to call for help even if you can’t reach the telephone.
There are also telecare sensors available such as falls detectors for people who would not be able to press a pendant alarm.
- If you have had a fall, try not to worry about it too much. There are plenty of things you can do to minimise your risk of it happening again
- If you do fall, even if you’re not injured it is really important to let someone know. It may also be helpful to keep a falls diary to track and falls you have. This may allow patterns and trends be identified and reduced.
- If your worries are not going away, try talking to someone about it
- Set yourself small goals to build back up to your usual activities – e.g. walk for a short distance first
- Think about all the times you haven’t fallen and try to maintain your usual levels of activity
Further Resources/Pendant Alarms
Talking Therapy, Devon (excluding Plymouth) TALKWORKS | Mental Health Support for Devon (dpt.nhs.uk)
Talking Therapy, Plymouth Plymouth Options | Livewell Southwest