Keeping mobile & preventing falls

There's a lot you can do to maintain your mobility and independence as you age and preventing falls is the best option.

Some fall facts:

  • About a third of people over 65 fall each year, with higher rates for over 75s
  • Up to 20 per cent of falls require medical attention
  • Falls make up half of the hospital admissions for accidental injury, especially hip fractures
  • Half of the falls reported by older people follow a trip or an accident
  • Some 90 per cent of hip fractures are caused by a fall

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to maintain independence and ensure we stay steady on our feet. Anything that challenges our balance and improves muscle strength, particularly in our legs, can help. Walking, gardening, Tai Chi and dancing are great examples.

Strength and balance training

Research has shown that older people who take part in regular strength and balance training are less likely to have a fall. There is also evidence that taking part in regular sessions of tai chi can help to reduce the risk.

Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that places special emphasis on balance, co-ordination and movement. However, unlike other martial arts, tai chi does not involve physical contact or rapid physical movements, making it an ideal activity for older people.

Many community centres and local gyms offer specialist training programmes for older people. Explore our Activity Index to find a session in your area.

Age UK's Staying Steady guide is a great resource for more in-depth information. 

Source: direct.gov.uk – visit their site for more detailed advice on preventing falls.

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