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Talk to your doctor

Picture of Bob
Bob, 75, Wellington

I'm as "bullet-proof" now as I was at 20. Mirrors don't show the true me.  Okay, my eyesight isn't what it was, but why would I waste my doctor's time talking about 'risk' when there's clearly nothing wrong with me?

Good question Bob. Falling over isn’t a ‘normal’ part of the ageing process, but once we hit 65 our risk increases substantially.

If you’ve tripped or fallen over recently, find it hard to get up from a low chair without using the armrests, or have been feeling a bit off balance, you should talk to someone.

Sometimes the underlying causes of a fall can be monitored and treated by your doctor. To maintain your health and independence:

  • have regular check-ups
  • ask your doctor to regularly review your medications
  • discuss any changes in your health. Sometimes the causes of dizziness
  • ask your doctor if a Vitamin D supplement is right for you. Vitamin D can help maintain bone health and improve muscle function
  • ask for a Timed up and Go (TUG) test to gauge your muscle strength and balance.

    Download the Timed up and Go (TUG) Test
     

Things your health professional will want to know

If you’ve had a trip or fall, or think you’re at risk of falling, here are some useful prompts to help you have a conversation with your doctor:

I had been feeling unsteady prior to my fall for:

  • a month or longer
  • a couple days
  • not at all.

I feel unsteady when I:

  • get out of bed in the morning
  • bend down
  • exert myself
  • sit quietly
  • drive or am a passenger
  • other times.

I have lost confidence in:

  • moving about my house
  • going shopping
  • doing everyday things
  • walking
  • exercising.

I’m finding it harder to:

  • get up from my easy chair without using the armrests
  • bathe and groom
  • go to the bathroom
  • prepare my own meals
  • get up and down my stairs.

I had been feeling unsteady prior to my fall for:

  • a month or longer
  • a couple days
  • not at all.

I feel unsteady when I:

  • get out of bed in the morning
  • bend down
  • exert myself
  • sit quietly
  • drive or am a passenger
  • other times.

I have lost confidence in:

  • moving about my house
  • going shopping
  • doing everyday things
  • walking
  • exercising.

I’m finding it harder to:

  • get up from my easy chair without using the armrests
  • bathe and groom
  • go to the bathroom
  • prepare my own meals
  • get up and down my stairs.