How to Prevent Falls in Older People. Part 5.
Where to find Further Help.
This is the 5th and final part of this quick guide to fall prevention. Hopefully you will have got some useful information to help you reduce the risk of falling either for yourself, or for somebody that you care for. It is not possible to cover every eventuality in a quick guide such as this; there are too many variables in each individual situation. We have looked at the most common areas of fall prevention, but because each set of personal circumstances are different, you may find that you need further information or help.
As we mentioned in the first part of this guide, information is almost as hidden as the problem itself. It can be difficult to source information, so this is where you need to go for further help:
Your G.P. (Family Doctor) should be your first port of call. Your Doctor will know you and will be able to provide all the information of a medical nature that will need. Don't be afraid to speak to your Doctor about falls, just remember that it's NOT seeking help that will cause others to worry about you.
Your Doctor will be able to put you in touch with a Community Nurse, Practice Nurse, Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist. All of these health care professionals can help you to reduce your fall risk on a personal basis.
Some Health Authorities and Local Authorities may also have information on services available. Many offer fall prevention classes for those people at risk. You tend to find that people only find out about these classes after they have fallen, so try to get in there first and prevent the problem in the first place.
There are some National Organisations in the U.K. that have useful websites. These include:
NHS Direct , Age Concern , Help the Aged and ROSPA . All of these will be found easily through a search engine.
The most important people to get help from are your family, friends and neighbours. These people will you know your circumstances and may be able to provide help with any jobs that need to be done. They may also provide supprt and surveillance. However, they will be able to do none of this if you don't mention your concerns to them.
It is vitally important that if you have fallen or think that you might be at risk, that you seek help from somebody. Failure to address this will inevitably lead to the problem becoming worse and putting yourself at risk of injury, restricted lifestyle or other serious consequences. Don't wait for the issue to become a problem, deal with it and do it now.
About one third of people over the age of sixty-five will fall each year. Make sure you're not one of them.
This is a synopsis of a chapter in my forthcoming book ' Fall Prevention for Older People - A Quick Guide'.