Falls Prevention Article

Elderly Care: Falls Advice

Why does Mum keep falling?

People often assume that falls are just something that’s likely to happen to older people however this doesn’t mean they should be ignored as there are many different reasons why elderly people might suffer a fall and once investigated, they can often be avoided.

Older people, particularly men, can be reluctant to seek advice for fear of losing their independence. Falls can occur anywhere, at home, in a care home and even in hospital. Identifying the causes of falls can help you to reduce the risks whatever the care setting.

Here are some of the common causes of falls:


  • Conditions such MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and Parkinson’s can affect a person’s mobility and therefore increase their likelihood of falling.

  • Balance can be affected by certain medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, urine infection etc.

  • Some types of medication can make people dizzy or drowsy, both of which can contribute to a risk of falls. However, do not stop taking medicines without consulting your GP first


  • Alcohol can contribute to feeling dizzy or unsteady

  • Dehydration can cause confusion, postural hypotension and delirium, all of which can contribute to a fall.

  • Vitamins A, C and E are all important for eye health and a deficiency can cause vision impairment that can lead to confusion, disorientation and poor balance increasing risk of a fall


  • Muscle weakness increases the risks of falls and is caused by the natural ageing process. This occurs most in less active people although it affects all people as they age

  • Joint issues also begin with the ageing process as fluids needed to lubricate the joints start to reduce causing ligaments to stiffen and joints to feel sore

  • Sensory impairment such as poor vision often leads to people misjudging distances or obstacles and hearing problems can also be linked to poor balance

What can be done to reduce falls?

  • Mobility Aids such as walking aids and frames can help a person to continue doing what they want but in a safer way. Mobility aids often have trays to help people carry items safely from one room to another

  • There are various fall alarms available from the traditional fall pendants to a more modern smart watch

  • Exercise, even small amounts, can help build muscle and joint strength. Even if mobility or pain prevents a person from taking regular exercise they could try online armchair exercises which can be done in the safety and comfort of their home

  • Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet promotes overall health and well-being so make sure to include lots of fruit and vegetables, healthy fats, oily fish and plenty of fibre in their diet. This will help a person to maintain a healthy weight which also reduces their risk of falls

  • Organise a medication review with the GP or pharmacist to discuss any possible side effects that might be contributing to falls

  • Support them to attend regular sight and hearing tests so that problems can be identified quickly and resolved. They can also advise your loved one on the correct glasses or hearing aids that will improve their sight and hearing

  • Be aware of their home environment and look out for possible trip hazards such as rugs, trailing leads, or uneven flooring. Make sure items that are needed regularly are in easy reach so that stretching up high can be avoided where possible

  • Seek further professional support especially if falling occurs on a regular basis as the problem may persist and cause harm if not investigated

Other professionals who can advise and guide you include:

  • GP’s and Health Professionals
  • Local Adult Social Care Services
  • Age UK
  • Home Care Providers
  • Local Suppliers of Mobility Aids

Next steps

Falling isn’t uncommon but it can be very detrimental to an individual’s health and well-being and unless steps are taken to avoid them they could result in a loss of independence. 

For more information about caring for a loved one at home join our discussion in our Facebook group Care Begins at Home for ongoing advice and support from experts.

To find out about what In-Home care services we provide contact our Care Manager, Colette Russell:


07889 706 852