Fall Proof

Reporter: Cassie Silver

They're the slips and trips costing seniors more than their confidence. Physiotherapist and researcher at Notre Dame Dr Anne-Marie Hill says the number of deaths from falls has quadrupled over the last decade. In Australia one in three people over the age of 65 will fall every year and for those over 75, its one in two people. Those with reduced strength and balance, taking certain medications and those with poor vision are more prone. Anne says "The best sign that you might be at risk of falling is if you've had a fall so it's a good warning bell to you to do something about it"

Falling over can be a frightening for anyone, but for an elderly person, it's often much worse. "I've had many families say to me they were never the same after that fall they never recovered they were never able to do what they did before" "My mother in law fell over the bed clothes she was 87 and she didn't survive surgery afterwards" Perth Grandmother, Glynne Beaver says there are ways to soften to blow. "I was on a property for 15 years and we carted fence posts and I think that was the best thing I ever did because i ended up with good strong bones" Even the most supple senior's at risk. "I had a fall a few weeks ago and it's a big no no the quilt had been thrown off the bed was on the floor I went to go to the ensuite and went down"

A volunteer with the "Stay on your feet program"; Glynne helps seniors stay safe.

It's important to be aware of the age of your bones

Engage in exercise

Check hazards around your home

Wear sensible shoes

Check medications and vitamin D levels

And get your eyes examined

Glynne's simplest tip, stand tall. "As you get older you tend to bend forward once you start to bend forward gravity wants to take you further forward so just that little straightening"

Useful resources for Preventing falls

www.iccwa.org.au/falls-prevention

www.health.wa.gov.au/stayonyourfeet/home

www.lllswa.org.au