1. Stay active
Between 50 and 70, we lose 30% of muscle strength, but this can be balanced by regular physical activity; 30 minutes five times a week is the recommendation.
Gardening, housework, cycling and walking all count. Yoga and t’ai chi are particularly good for balance: one study last year showed t’ai chi classes cut falls in the over 65s by 26%.
2. Light up your life
Sixty-year-old eyes need three times more light than 20-year-old eyes.
Consider swapping bulbs for brighter ones: LED or halogen bulbs are better than energy-saving ones, although not as efficient.
A table light two feet away from where you’re sitting will provide 25 times more light than a ceiling bulb.
3. Strengthen your bones
Calcium is crucial, but magnesium and vitamin D are just as important. Eat milk, cheese, yoghurt, leafy green veg, pulses and beans, dried fruit and oily fish.
The main source of vitamin D is the sun between April and October. The Government recommends a vitamin D supplement (10 micrograms) for all over 65s.
4. Fall-proof your home
Tape down or remove worn/frayed carpet, tape trailing extension leads to skirting boards, clear away clutter especially in the hall/landing and doorways.
5. Ask your GP for a medication review
Some 36% of people over 75 are on four or more drugs, and some – such as high blood pressure and heart medicines – are associated with dizziness.
Saga has published a 32-page guide to preventing falls, in association with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and Public Health England (PHE).
Click here to download a copy of Saga's Get Up and Go: A Guide to Staying Steady.
Related: Make your home safer by installing motion-activated night-lights. Get 20% off stick anywhere automatic lights here.
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