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What to do if you’re anxious about falling

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What to do if you’re anxious about falling
It’s balance and falls month at NRS Healthcare and we’re focussing on all the ways to help take care of yourself and your relatives.

Currently, around a third of people aged 65 and over will fall at least once a year.[1] 

If your balance isn’t what it used to be, you may be worried about falling. You might have even fallen already this year and be worried about it happening again. 

You’re not alone. 

There are things that can be done to help.

How the anxiety might start

Any fall can leave you feeling off-kilter and not yourself, even if it didn’t result in a visit to the hospital. But if you fell, couldn’t get up again by yourself and had to wait a while for rescue, it’s understandable to feel anxious about it happening again.

These anxious thoughts and worries may start popping into your head more often. You might find that you’re more reluctant to leave your home or do the things you used to enjoy. It might make you more cautious in how you move around or even stop you from moving as much as you used to.  

How to help ease some of your anxiety

It may sound odd when you worry about falling, but one of the things that can help is to move more – not less.  Exercise helps to improve your balance and strength, which in turn helps to reduce your chance of falling. We have some tips for getting back into gentle exercise here.

Another way is to reflect on what is causing the worry. If you worry that you won’t be able to get up again following a fall, carrying a mobile phone with you at all times might be a way to alleviate it. If that isn’t right for you, there are fall alarms you can get that will let someone know you need help.

The Auto Dial Panic Alarm is a great option if you live alone. When you press the alert button on the pendant, this clever alarm connects to your landline phone and dials a pre-programmed number to summon help. 

Auto Dial Panic Alarm

If you live with someone else, you could try the Wrist Worn Panic Alarm. This easy-to-use device sounds a very loud alarm to attract attention to you so you can be helped.

Wrist Worn Panic Alarm

You may also want to look at your home and see if there are any changes you could make to help reduce your chance of falling. This could be as simple as removing an old rug or keeping the stairs clear from clutter. If you’d like see more suggestions that could help, see our article on how to reduce falls at home.

When to seek help

If you find anxiety about falling is taking over your life and you’re struggling to cope, it’s important to speak with your doctor. This is so they can both help with your anxiety and see if there is anything else going on that needs attention.

Your doctor may refer you for a fall assessment or to the falls prevention service if they think you need more help to try and prevent falls in the future.[2]

 

 

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/falls-applying-all-our-health/falls-applying-all-our-health

[2] https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/information-guides/ageukig14_staying_steady_inf.pdf

 

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