As part of Morecambe Bay CCG’s falls prevention campaign, members of the public are being asked to think about what they would do if they had a fall.
Although the primary aim of the campaign is to prevent people from falling over in the first place, it is important to have a falls plan in place, whether you are at home or out and about.
The first thing to think about is who you would call in an emergency; it is always a good idea to have a relative, friend or neighbour that you could call if you fall.
Dr Sam Moon, GP Lead for Falls at Morecambe Bay CCG said: “Having a personal alarm or mobile phone on you at all times will help you to call for help when you need to. Even if you’re just popping out to your garage or bins, keep a phone in your pocket in case you fall and can’t get up.
“Ensuring that a relative or neighbour has a spare key will also help people to get to you quicker. If you live alone, or spend long periods of time on your own, you might also want to consider asking a relative, friend or neighbour to check in regularly, either by phone or by visit.”
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents have produced a short video showing how to get up safely after a fall and it is something that you can practise at home. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDb6gBlqe6M
Lorna Brown, Advanced Practice Physiotherapist in the Furness area, said: “If you do fall over, try to remain as calm as possible. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you’re not badly injured. Try not to move too quickly and take a few minutes to check for any pain or injuries. If you are not hurt, try to get up from the floor – there are some simple steps that you can take to help you get up.
“However, if you have hurt yourself, or you are unable to get up off the floor you will need to try and call for help. You could do this by using a phone to call a friend, relative or neighbour, or 999 if you are seriously injured; or you could use an alarm if you have one or try to raise a neighbours attention by shouting or banging on a loud surface as long as this doesn’t make any injuries worse.”
Staying warm is also important at this point to avoid developing hypothermia, so think about moving yourself onto a carpet, rug or other soft surface, reach for a nearby blanket or clothing you can cover yourself with and try to keep your body moving as much as possible; even gentle movements will help to keep you warm, focused and calm until help arrives, but if it hurts to move, stop. If there is someone with you, you could ask them to make you a hot drink or put the heating on to help you stay warm.
Having a falls plan in place can mean that you are able to get help quicker, avoid serious medical conditions such as hypothermia and you can think about what changes you could make or who you might need to talk to in order to avoid a serious fall.
Don’t forget, if you have had any kind of fall, whether you hurt yourself or not, make sure you tell your GP and they can look at helping to prevent it from happening again.
Visit our Falls Prevention Campaign page for more information and advice.