Staying Active and Independant
Physical activity, including strength and balance, is vital for healthy ageing. The good news is that falls are not an inevitable part of getting older and can be prevented. Doing regular strength and balance exercise can reduce your risk of having a fall.
Hampshire County Council run a range of Steady and Strong classes which have been developed by experts for those aged 65 and over to increase your strength and balance, helping you to stay stronger for longer and able to keep doing the things you love. There are classes at locations across Hampshire. Visit Falls Prevention | Health and social care | Hampshire County Council (hants.gov.uk) for more information.
Southampton City Council offer a Careline service. By pulling a cord or pressing a wrist or neck pendant, customers will immediately be put in contact with a local operator. Visit https://www.southampton.gov.uk/adult-social-care/home-living/information-advice-services/careline/ for more information.
Portsmouth City Council falls prevention exercise programme serving the older (65+) population of the Portsmouth area who are registered with a Portsmouth GP practice, is available via a referral from your GP.
Isle of Wight Council have three specialist Falls Prevention Leads based at St. Mary’s Hospital and are available for advice. They can be contacted on: 01983 822099 ext 5353.
Most classes are suitable for people with early-mid stage dementia and some may be suitable for later stage dementia, but please check with the class instructor before attending to ensure it is suitable for you and your loved one.
Dementia Friendly walking football and cricket sessions, and guided walks are available in some areas.
Check our event calendar to see if there is an event near you.
Walking daily, even for 10 minutes a day will help you to stay mobile for longer.
Home adaptations are changes you can make to your home to make it safer and easier to move around and do everyday tasks.
Your local council offers a service that assesses your home and recommends changes that will help. Please contact us to discuss a referral.
These changes can be small or big and include:
- fitting a stairlift or a banister on the stairs
- adding a bath lift, walk-in shower or a rail you hold to pull yourself out of the bath (grab rail)
- widening doorways
- lowering kitchen worktops
- putting in an outdoor ramp or step rail
- security, such as outside lights and intercom systems
An occupational therapist will visit you at your home. They’ll ask you questions and walk around with you to see what you struggle with. You’ll work out what you need together.
Make sure you tell them everything you find difficult, even small things such as opening a cupboard. Assessments usually take at least an hour.
Having a home assessment is free and your council should pay for each adaptation that costs less than £1,000. This usually includes things such as: grab rails; shower seats; a concrete ramp or steps; lights that come on when someone is at your front door.
For expensive adaptations, like fitting a wet room or widening doors, you can try to get a grant from:
Other ways to reduce the risk of having falls
Make your home safer by removing potential slip and trip hazards and ensure rooms are well lit.
Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, can cause unsteadiness, dizziness or fainting. If you have low blood pressure, take your time when standing up, avoid standing for long periods of time, stay well hydrated and eat smaller meals more often.
Wear well-fitting shoes and slippers that are in good condition and support the ankle. Avoid wearing soft, floppy, loose-fitting or open-backed slippers because these can cause trips.
Have your medications reviewed by your GP at least once a year. This is especially important if you take more than four medicines a day.
Make sure you have your eyesight tested at least once a year. You are entitled to a free sight test if you are aged over 60, are registered blind or partially sighted, have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma, or are in receipt of means tested benefits including pension credit or have an NHS HC2 low income certificate.
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