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Falls prevention and managementFalls are a common problem and, as we get older, we can be more likely to fall. Whilst there are many reasons that make falls more likely as we age, there are also many different things we can do to prevent them.

What help is available?

Community staff in your local area are dedicated to working with people who have fallen or are at risk of falls. They can offer falls risk screening, support, advice, rehabilitation and specialist further referral when needed.

What can I do?

There are many things to look out for which can help to reduce the risk of falls.
Falls Assistant is a falls prevention and self management tool specifically designed and created to help prevent falls, keep people steady on their feet and stay as independent as possible. It enables older people, their carers and family members to assess their own falls risk, and then provides tailored advice that will give them a plan to reduce their future risk of falls and fractures.

Click here  for link to Falls Assistant self management tool.

Age Scotland has worked with NHS Health Scotland and the National Osteoporosis Society to produce "Up and About: Taking positive steps to avoid trips and falls". It includes information and helpful advice to those most at risk of trips and falls.

Read or download Up and About: Taking positive steps to avoid trips and falls


Exercise is one of the most effective ways to maintain independence and ensure we stay steady on our feet. Anything that challenges our balance and improves muscle strength, particularly in our legs, can help to reduce falls. There are many different exercise activities such as Tai-Chi and dancing, and ordinary day-to-day activities like walking, gardening, housework which are beneficial. You could also consider attending strength and balance classes in your local area (these are sometimes called Otago classes).

You can also try out some exercises at home using this exercise book, 'Strength and balance exercises for healthy ageing', from Age Scotland partner Age UK:

Download Strength and balance exercises for healthy ageing (PDF 699KB)

Having your eyes checked regularly

This will help to identify any difficulties you may be having with your glasses prescription or other vision problems that may be affecting your balance and co-ordination.

Looking after your feet

Wearing well fitted shoes and slippers can help you to move around safely and comfortably and reduce your risk of falls. Report any problems with your feet to your GP or practice nurse.

Managing your medicines

Certain medicines can make you feel faint or affect your balance. Let your GP know if you ever feel like this after taking medicine or if you are taking several medicines, in case you no longer need them or the dose needs to be changed.

Look after your bones

Keeping active, and eating a well balanced diet that includes plenty of calcium can help keep your bones healthy. Vitamin D is also important.

Check your home for hazards

There are many simple things that can be done to reduce your risk of trips and falls at home e.g. be aware of hazards including poor lighting, loose rugs, trailing cables.


Additional information:

Click here for NHS Highland Falls Prevention and Management Pathway for Older People

Click here for Community Multifactorial Falls Screening form 


Click here for link to Remote and Rural Healthcare Educational Alliance Preventing Falls educational resource

  • NHS Inform Falls information
    Provides a co-ordinated, single source of quality assured health and care information for the people of Scotland, including information about local services
  • Age Scotland
    provides information and services at a national and local level to enable and support older people when they need it
  • HighLife Highland
    including You Time programme, providing a range of activities which brings together leisure centres, libraries and archives, encouraging people to get involved, to get active and keep active
  • Care and Repair Scotland
    offers advice and assistance to help elderly and disabled homeowners repair, improve or adapt their homes to allow them to live safely in their community
  • Handyperson Service
    service for people 65 or over, or of any age who have a disability and require help with small jobs around the house