White elderly woman wearing a pink shirt drinking a cup of tea

Trips and falls

Falls are the most common cause of hospitalisation for people in the UK. Women over 65 are especially at risk, with falls accounting for 84% of accidental deaths. Problems with vision, especially when undetected, can play a significant role in older people falling. When we age, we lose the ability to focus on things that are close-up (presbyopia). We find it harder to read menus or the labels on packets, messages on our phone screens or books and newspapers. Sometimes we also need more light to see things clearly and that it takes longer to adapt to changing lighting conditions.

I’m really worried: what do I do if I have a fall?

If the worst happens and you have a fall you don’t need to leap straight up. Take your time and only begin to rise when you feel ready. Don’t let others encourage you to get up before the time is right for you. Don’t be embarrassed about seeking medical attention. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you do fall. If you are at home, crawling to a chair or other solid furniture might provide you with something to pull yourself up with.

If you are in the street you don’t have to let people drag you to your feet, again wait for the right person to help you.

Mobile phones are useful tools and can be used to summon help. More expensive phones can be activated by voice and will call without the need to touch the phone. There are other simple to use phones available, like the Doro range that has a panic button on the rear of the phone. Once pressed this connects you your emergency chosen person.

At home you can seek peace of mind by using a telecare system. This can be simple to use. You wear a pendant or bracelet and a push of the button summons help. Telecare services can monitor you at home in a variety of ways to keep you feeling safe. If you meet the criteria, your local council may be able to assist or advise you about telecare services.

The Amazon Alexa home speaker costs £25 and can be used to make phone calls – which can be useful in emergencies. It can be programmed with programmed with numbers or you can use it to call the emergency services. You simply say: “Alexa call 999”. More expensive Alexa devices come with cameras so friends and carers can see you when they talk to you.

Medical bracelets are also a simple safeguarding device. They contain key medical information and can help medical professionals provide the right kind of help and support.

You are most at risk of falling if you:


There are lot of things you can do to reduce your risk of falling:

If you would like to learn more about ways to make everyday living a little easier, why not join a Managing Sight Loss session? You can get in touch with us via email on info@londonvision.org or on the phone: 0203 761 3651.

Want more resources? Go back to the Managing Sight Loss course resources page.