by Physiotherapist Michelle Huntley
When discussing past history with patients I often hear that they have suffered a fall for various reasons, but they brush it off and put it down to a ‘silly slip’ as if it were an inconvenience. But falling can have devastating consequences for older people. Over a third of people aged over 65 and half of people aged 80 and above fall at least once a year.
A fall is the largest precipitating factor of further falls. People can develop anxieties about their own abilities and become fearful of falling. Through this fear there follows a downward spiral leading to reduced activity, loss of independence and increased care needs.
Falls are generally not down to a single problem (e.g. uneven road surfaces) but are invariably multi factorial.