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Planning Retirement Online

Steady on your feet


Summer is over and the flip flops will soon be confined to the back of the wardrobe. And a good thing too if you are getting into later life.  

Falls in the home are not uncommon among older people, and one clear reason is wearing slippers or loose fitting shoes, including said flip flops.  

The charity AgeUK is so concerned about this that they have a Falls Manager, Pamela Holmes, whose job it is to make people aware of the potential dangers of wearing sloppy shoes.  

How worried should we be about having a fall?

At 50-plus, if we fall, we usually recover quickly, but it’s downhill as we get older, and anyone with elderly parents needs to know the worst and how to avoid it.


Falls are the most frequent and serious type of accident among the over 65 age group. A fall, reminds Pamela Holmes, can destroy confidence, reduce independence and increase isolation. Nearly a third of people over 65 living in the community will fall in a year. This rises to around half of those aged 85 and over.

Half of hip fracture patients lose their ability to live independently and up to 33% of hip fracture patients die within one year of their accident. Falls are a major factor leading to premature admission to permanent residential care.  

Simple ways to help a relative (or yourself) avoid a slip, trip or broken hip

  • Get active to improve  balance, strength and co-ordination. Yoga is good for strength and coordination, but any exercise helps.  

  • Get any medicines checked regularly by the GP or pharmacist  

  • Make the home a safer place by removing clutter and keeping it well lit, especially in halls and on stairs  

  • Eat plenty of Vitamin D and calcium to keep bones healthy  

  • Take advantage of free eye tests if you are over 60 but watch out if using bifocal and varifocal glasses outside - they can more than double risk of a fall.   

  • Best to have separate pairs of glasses for reading and for distance.  

Free leaflets offering simple and practical information to help reduce chance of having a fall are available from the DTI Publications Orderline on 0870 1502 500 or via the AgeUK website .

Free Banana Skins Video

A limited number of Banana Skins videos, giving simple and practical advice on avoiding falls are available free of charge by emailing    



laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

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