There's a lot you can do yourself, or with your family or carer, to reduce your risk of falls. However, the reasons people fall can be complex and sometimes you'll need the support of others.
The support you're given will help to reduce your risk of further falls and injuries, and help you to continue to carry out activities that are important to you.
When to get support
Always seek help from your GP practice, or other health professional such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist, if you:
- lost consciousness (blacked out) when you fell
- found yourself on the floor and didn’t know why, or have had other falls you can’t explain
- felt dizzy, lightheaded or had heart palpitations before you fell
- have had 2 or more falls in the last year
- if you, or your family, are anxious or worried about you falling
- start feeling unsteady on your feet
- are rushing to the toilet, or going more frequently
- have drowsiness that wasn’t there before
- have noticed changes in your health, mobility or memory since you fell
- are unable to carry on with your usual daily activities since you fell
Having one fall may be a sign that you're at risk of falling again.
Where to get support
If you need support following a fall, or help to reduce your risk of falling, your GP practice, community nurse or other health or social care professional, will be able to advise you where to get support in your area.
Some health and social care services have a specialist falls prevention service, however, in most parts of Scotland services that can help prevent falls are provided by:
- day hospitals
- falls clinics
- community care and rehabilitation teams
- community physiotherapists
- community occupational therapists
In some areas, you'll be able to contact many of these services yourself, while in others, your GP might have to refer you.
What'll happen next?
If you seek advice and support after a fall, or have concerns about falling, it's most likely that you'll be offered a 'home and person' falls risk screen.
The purpose of the screen is to:
- listen to what you think the problem could be
- try to work out why you're falling
- agree an action plan with you to reduce your risk of falling, and the risk of being harmed if you were to have a fall
More about falls risk screening