Falls can cause many different types of injury and have a serious impact on your life, but there are a few simple steps you can follow to lower the risk of having a fall.
Why Falls Matter
Anyone can fall, but as we get older, falls can cause injuries, can be harder to recover from and can have a serious impact on your quality of life.
Causes of falls
Sometimes the cause of a fall is obvious e.g. an icy path, clutter left on your household stairs, a pet gets underfoot, sometimes the cause is due to the effects of weakened muscles or deconditioning causing poor strength and balance and sometimes, the cause may be less obvious or require some further investigation or assessment e.g. side effect of medication, blood pressure problems, requirement for a walking aid.
What to do if someone falls
Follow the link for useful information and videos explaining what to do if you fall, what to do if someone else falls and how to get up after a fall.
Prevention is better than cure and there are many steps you can take to identify factors which may affect your risk of a fall and take the necessary action to reduce the risk- see below.
Visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/preventing-falls for comprehensive falls advice, to review your personal risk factors, what steps you can take to reduce them and what to do if you were to have a fall.
ROAR - Roar and falls prevention services:
Roar - Connections For Life aims to empower older adults to stay resilient, socially connected and physically active, and falls prevention plays a huge part in this. We know there are steps individuals, their families, and members of their community can take to help prevent someone falling, and we have a range of services that can help support this.
OTAGO Classes (gentle exercises), running in venues throughout Renfrewshire - Exercise is key to staying well in later life. OTAGO classes are gentle exercises designed for older adults to improve your strength and balance which will help to keep you mobile. These classes are the ideal way to keep active, retrain those muscles, meet people and make fitness fun. More info can be found via our website at https://www.roarforlife.org/get-involved
Roar Do Feet, running in venues throughout Renfrewshire - Cutting toenails is essential to keep them neat to avoid ingrown toenails and infections, and to help prevent falls. As we age, we become less flexible and there are a variety of reasons we can no longer reach to cut our toenails. More info can be found via our website at https://www.roarforlife.org/get-involved/roar-do-feet
Stay Mobile Stay Connected (Frailty Prevention) - At Roar we understand that getting out and meeting people can become difficult at any age, but particularly as we get older. We also understand that falls can and do happen in the home. Roar's fall prevention strategy provides the tools to help prevent home accidents and falls, giving you or your older relative their confidence back to take the next steps back into socialising. More info can be found via our website at https://www.roarforlife.org/get-involved/stay-mobile-stay-connected
Ask SARA is an online guided advice tool which allows the person to answer questions in relation to their needs, provides a range of information relating to falls prevention and a tailored advice-based report outlining the types of equipment products or solutions the person may find beneficial.
Ask SARA can be accessed via https://equipu.livingmadeeasy.org.uk/
Physical Activity- Live Active/Vitality classes
Being more active is one of best ways of improving our health and reducing our risk of numerous diseases and it's not as difficult to become more active as you may think.
For info on Live Active- a GP exercise referral scheme running throughout Renfrewshire and Vitality- exercise classes specially designed for people living with a range of medical conditions, such as; Parkinson's disease, MS, Stroke, Cardiac Conditions, Osteoporosis, Cognitive impairments and COPD. Vitality is also ideal for those who have a fear of falling or find your strength and balance is starting to impact on your daily life.
Visit Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership - Physical Activity (hscp.scot) for more information
Social Work Services
Social Work assessment: The Adult Services Response Team is the single point of access for social care services including adult protection, Care at Home, community care and occupational therapy (ASeRT) 0300 300 1380 or email email@example.com
Occupational Therapy: Occupational Therapists complete a holistic assessment to promote independence and support people to live and function within their home environment to the best of their ability, while they are safe to do so.
Following assessment, occupational therapists can provide equipment, adaptations, and self-directed support packages to help reduce falls within the home environment. https://www.renfrewshire.hscp.scot/article/4992/Equipment-And-Adaptations
Care at Home: Care At Home Services can provide a wide range of assistance, including reablement, community alarm/technology enabled services (TECS), extra care housing, community meals and home respite. And you don't have to live alone to benefit from our services. For more information visit:
Technology Enabled Care Service: Renfrewshire`s Technology Enabled Care Service supports vulnerable people and their carers across Renfrewshire though their 24 hours a day, 365 days a year response service. The service can assist you by providing extra support to live safely in your own home, and uses a range of technology to give you extra peace of mind, including a response service if you need it.
RES (Rehabilitation and Enablement Service) -: A multidisciplinary team of specialists who visit housebound patients. The team comprises dietitians, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacist, physiotherapists, as well as speech and language therapists and rehabilitation support workers.
Their goal is to help you function at your best in your daily life, through either a short intervention or a co-ordinated approach to assessment, care and treatment including interventions to prevent falls.
Outpatient physiotherapy services Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership - Contact Information (hscp.scot)
Learning Disabilities Team
The Renfrewshire Learning Disabilities Service (RLDS) is an integrated health and social work service which provides community based supports for adults with learning disabilities (LD), based at Renfrew Health & Social Work Centre. The key objective of the community team is to assist people with a learning disability to achieve their aspirations and potential, and to enable them to live as fulfilled and valued lives as possible which will include addressing concerns re falls.
RLDS community team comprises the multi-disciplinary and multi-agency professional staff. This includes; Admin / Business Support, Dietetics, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Resource Workers, Social Work, Speech and Language Therapy.
Adults who live in Renfrewshire who have a learning disability. A learning disability is a significant, lifelong condition that started before adulthood, affects development, and means help is needed to:
- Understand new or complex information
- Learn new skills
- Cope independently
How to access service: ASeRT referral 0300 300 1380
Renfrewshire`s Community Mental Health Teams and Community Stroke Outreach Team all offer assessment, care and treatment and can offer support and advice re falls- discuss with your worker from the team if you have any concerns re falls.
Dementia friendly resources
NHSGGC - Dementia Friendly Exercises for Strength and Flexibility
NHSGGC - Dementia Friendly Exercises for Strength and Balance
Self-care advice both written and videos along with downloadable patient information leaflets and local contact details.
Under the personal foot care section there is a range of information produced by the Scottish government on looking after your feet and sections for carers also. This site is specific to nail cutting, skin care and footwear advice.
Community Link Workers
GP practice based workers who can advise and direct you to local resources and services- contact your GP practice for further info.