Don't fall for it

Managing worries about falling

Page last updated: 06 May 2011

If you have had a bad fall it is natural to feel worried about falling again. Some people become fearful of falling even if they haven’t fallen. This fear may be because of unsteadiness or the thought of the possible injuries from a fall.

People who are worried about falling tend to restrict their activity, gradually doing less and less. For some people this can mean less social activity. As discussed in the ‘Keeping yourself mobile’ section (see page 7), this can lead to an increased risk of falling over time.

What you can do:

  • Talk to your doctor about your feelings or concerns about falling.
  • Talk to a physiotherapist about whether you need a walking aid, such as a stick or frame. This can make you more stable and improve confidence when walking. You may only need an aid for a while until you get stronger and feel steadier.
  • Talk to a physiotherapist or accredited exercise or fitness instructor about how to improve your strength and balance. After building up your strength and balance you are likely to have more confidence in your abilities.
  • Make your home and surroundings safer to move around in. See pages 12-19.
  • Make a plan for getting help in an emergency or in the event of a fall. See pages 20-27. This will help you, your family and your friends feel confident that you can get help if you need it.
  • Talking with a clinical psychologist, social worker or counsellor can also help you regain your confidence, particularly if your fear is very strong or you are lonely or isolated.
Where you can find more help or advice:
  • Commonwealth Carelink, for counselling, physiotherapy and clinical psychology services in your area
  • Your local hospital or Community Health Centre may have physiotherapists and psychologists on staff
  • Australian Psychological Society
  • Australian Association of Social Workers
See page 29 for a list of support services for older people.