Skip To Content

Staying independent after retirement

Kay pull quote
Kay, 65, Wellington

One minute I was heading out the door, 10 minutes later I woke up at the bottom of the stairs. I broke my wrist, and split my head on the windowsill. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve always been fit and confident. But not so much now… not so much.

If 'avoiding' a fall is the last thing on your mind, then this is the website for you.

Every year one in three people aged 65 and over injure themselves in a fall.  This rises to one in two once you reach 80. The good news is falls aren’t a natural part of the ageing process so can be prevented if you know the risks.  

You're only as old as you feel

Download transcript below:

You're only as old as you feel.docx

 

Falling over isn't fun

Download transcript below:

Falling over isn't fun.docx

 

Are you at risk of falling?

Have you slipped, tripped or fallen in the last year?

People who have fallen once are more likely to fall again.

Ask your doctor, physio or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Can you get out of a chair without using your hands?

This is a sign of weak leg muscles, which can be a major reason for falling.

Ask your doctor, physio or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Are you worried about falling?

People who are worried about falling are more likely to avoid walking. This can lead to weakened muscles and a greater risk of falling again.

Ask your doctor, physio or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Have you avoided some activities because you are afraid you might lose your balance?

The less active you are, the more your strength and balance will deteriorate.

Ask your doctor, physio, or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Do you sometimes feel unsteady when walking? Have you been told to use a walking stick to help you get around?

Unsteadiness or needing support while walking are signs you may have poor balance.

Ask your doctor, physio or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Do you steady yourself by holding onto furniture?

This is a sign you may have poor balance.

Ask your doctor, physio, or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Have you lost feeling in your feet?

Numbness in your feet can cause stumbles and lead to falls.

Discuss this with your doctor.

Does your medicine make you feel sleepy, light-headed, dizzy or drowsy? (Sleeping pills, blood pressure pills etc).

Side effects from medicine increase your chance of falling.

Discuss this with your doctor. You may be taking several different medicines, especially if you have conditions such as diabetes or asthma. It’s important that your medicines and the doses are reviewed regularly.

Do you often feel sad or depressed?

Symptoms of depression, such as feeling sad or unmotivated, have been linked to falls.

Discuss how you’re feeling with your doctor, and consider attending a community group strength and balance class. Classes will be made up of people, like you, living in your neighbourhood.

Have you had your eyes tested in the last two years?

Your eyes can change as you age, your glasses may need to as well.

Get your eyes checked by your doctor once a year and by an optometrist at least once every two years. Keep your glasses clean. Always give yourself time to get used to new glasses, especially bifocals.

Do you feel dizzy when you get out of bed, stand up, or bend over?

This type of dizziness could be a side effect of blood pressure medication.

Stand up slowly after lying down or sitting. Discuss this with your doctor. They may recommend having medical tests, such as testing if your blood pressure drops when you stand up.

Is your home well maintained inside and out?

Clutter and disrepair can increase your risk of a fall.

Remove clutter and tripping hazards around your home.

Do you have trouble hearing?

This can affect your balance and increase your risk of a fall.

Discuss this with your doctor. You may benefit from a hearing aid.

Do you find yourself having to rush to the bathroom?

Rushing to the toilet, especially at night, increases your chance of falling.

Discuss this with your doctor.

Have you slipped, tripped or fallen in the last year?

People who have fallen once are more likely to fall again.

Ask your doctor, physio or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Can you get out of a chair without using your hands?

This is a sign of weak leg muscles, which can be a major reason for falling.

Ask your doctor, physio or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Are you worried about falling?

People who are worried about falling are more likely to avoid walking. This can lead to weakened muscles and a greater risk of falling again.

Ask your doctor, physio or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Have you avoided some activities because you are afraid you might lose your balance?

The less active you are, the more your strength and balance will deteriorate.

Ask your doctor, physio, or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Do you sometimes feel unsteady when walking? Have you been told to use a walking stick to help you get around?

Unsteadiness or needing support while walking are signs you may have poor balance.

Ask your doctor, physio or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Do you steady yourself by holding onto furniture?

This is a sign you may have poor balance.

Ask your doctor, physio, or practice nurse to give you a balance and muscle strength assessment and a referral to a community group strength and balance class. Or go to a class near you. They can use the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test.

Download the  Timed Up and Go (TUG) test

Have you lost feeling in your feet?

Numbness in your feet can cause stumbles and lead to falls.

Discuss this with your doctor.

Does your medicine make you feel sleepy, light-headed, dizzy or drowsy? (Sleeping pills, blood pressure pills etc).

Side effects from medicine increase your chance of falling.

Discuss this with your doctor. You may be taking several different medicines, especially if you have conditions such as diabetes or asthma. It’s important that your medicines and the doses are reviewed regularly.

Do you often feel sad or depressed?

Symptoms of depression, such as feeling sad or unmotivated, have been linked to falls.

Discuss how you’re feeling with your doctor, and consider attending a community group strength and balance class. Classes will be made up of people, like you, living in your neighbourhood.

Have you had your eyes tested in the last two years?

Your eyes can change as you age, your glasses may need to as well.

Get your eyes checked by your doctor once a year and by an optometrist at least once every two years. Keep your glasses clean. Always give yourself time to get used to new glasses, especially bifocals.

Do you feel dizzy when you get out of bed, stand up, or bend over?

This type of dizziness could be a side effect of blood pressure medication.

Stand up slowly after lying down or sitting. Discuss this with your doctor. They may recommend having medical tests, such as testing if your blood pressure drops when you stand up.

Is your home well maintained inside and out?

Clutter and disrepair can increase your risk of a fall.

Remove clutter and tripping hazards around your home.

Do you have trouble hearing?

This can affect your balance and increase your risk of a fall.

Discuss this with your doctor. You may benefit from a hearing aid.

Do you find yourself having to rush to the bathroom?

Rushing to the toilet, especially at night, increases your chance of falling.

Discuss this with your doctor.

What is core strength?