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Older person watering plants

I’m a family member of someone in later life

People over the age of 65 make up half of all hospital admissions due to accidents, with falls being the most common type of accident among people in later life.

In research carried out for this project, 45 per cent of people said they did not feel confident raising concerns about the risk of accidents with older relatives or friends, while 55 per cent lacked the confidence to suggest safety improvements. Only 36 per cent of people said they felt comfortable passing on accident prevention advice.

It might be tempting to do more for them or encourage them to move less if they have balance problems, but it is quite the opposite – moving more and moving more regularly helps maintain or improve balance and strength. Prolonged sitting and avoiding activity will cause a loss of these abilities.

We hope the information in this web hub will provide some useful pointers for starting conversations about safety.

How can I talk to my relative about safety?

When talking to a family member or friend about the safety of their home, always remember it is their home. A conversational approach will always have a better response, rather than being overly critical or judgmental.

A simple conversation with a family member or friend could give someone the confidence they need to make a change in their home, or sign up to an activity they wouldn’t otherwise have joined. This is good for their safety and wellbeing, and your peace of mind.

Take a look at this video, which includes more advice to help get those conversations going.

Making simple changes to the home environment can prevent accidents, but maintaining strength and balance through regular exercise can also reduce someone’s risk of falling. There is lots of information on these topics in the I’m in later life area of this hub. Do take a look at the resources available there – which include a series of demo videos on strength and balance – they could provide great conversation starters with your loved ones.

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