Avoiding trips and falls

Across the health and care system in Somerset, we understand that the risk of having a fall is a concern for many individuals, especially as we age.

As you get older, you may find that your muscle strength is reduced, and you are less steady on your feet. Some movements, such as leaning sideways or turning quickly, can cause a loss of balance. This can begin earlier than you may expect: from your early fifties onwards.

Falls are the most common accidents for adults and can cause serious injury at any time of life. However, the risk does increase with age and every day in Somerset, around 8 people are admitted to hospital because of a fall and each year in the UK about one-third of people over 65 will fall.


Preventing falls

There are many things we can do to reduce our risk of falling, including:

  • Wearing appropriate, well-fitting footwear
  • Being regularly active and doing strength and balance exercises
  • Identifying trip hazards such as wires and rugs
  • Removing excess clutter
  • Knowing where your pets are when moving
  • Looking after your eyes and ears and making an appointment to have a sight/hearing test if you're concerned
  • Staying hydrated. Try to drink at least 6 to 8 cups of fluid every day, including water
  • Making sure you follow a healthy balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight can reduce the risk of falling and of suffering more serious injuries.

Sloppy Slippers

According to the University Hospitals of Leicester, 24,000 over-65s in the UK fall over at home, every year, because of poorly fitting footwear. Most of these falls are caused by wearing 'sloppy' slippers’ - poorly structured and ill-fitting slippers.


Loose, worn, or backless slippers can increase the risk of slips, trips and falls in adults within our communities. This type of footwear can cause poor balance and gait, and make it difficult for people to stay steady on their feet.

However, help is at hand. This year, NHS Somerset and SASP are running a scheme to equip adults in the county with properly fitting footwear.

Adults can attend a series of roadshows across the county to collect a new, free pair of slippers to help keep them warm and, importantly, steady on their feet. Partner organisations will also be in attendance to provide information and support.

Please click on the box below to see details of upcoming roadshows. Adults in Somerset can simply turn up, and do not need to pre-book or register.


Building strength and balance

Regular physical activity can support our bodies to remain fit, and able to cope with everyday living tasks, and reduce our risk of falling.

Building strength and balance exercises into our daily lives, in addition to exercise that raises our heart rate and makes us breathe faster, can help to maintain, or even improve our stability and lower our risk of falls. This can include activities like walking, dancing, yoga and gardening. It also helps to boost our mental wellbeing too!

SASP provide FREE resources and videos for you to try at home, using resistance exercises and balance for healthy ageing and falls prevention.

Quick self check

Do you find it more difficult walking through narrow spaces?

Do you feel unsteady or find it hard getting in and out of the car, or getting off the bus?

Do you feel the need to stop or slow down when talking and walking?

Do you need to use your hands to get in and out of a chair?

If you have noticed any of these changes, it would be beneficial for you to complete the exercises on the SASP website.

Our Somerset Instagram (Portrait)_LG (1)

What to do if you do fall

If you fall try to stay calm. Take time to assess the situation as it can take a few minutes to feel pain from injuries. What you do next will depend on if you’re hurt and whether or not you’re able to get up without help.


Check for injuries

The first thing you need to do after a fall is work out if you’re hurt. Take a few minutes to check your body for any pain or injuries, then:

  • if you’re not hurt, try to get up from the floor
  • if you’re hurt or unable to get off the floor, call for help and keep warm and moving as best you can while you wait

Click on the box below for information on how to get up from a fall.

Our partners


Sylvia’s Story: A Step Towards Safety with the Sloppy Slippers Campaign

By Olivia Grant | February 21, 2024

North Petherton resident, Sylvia Selway, who is in her early-80s, shares her journey of overcoming mobility challenges and regaining her confidence, thanks to the “Sloppy Slippers” campaign by NHS Somerset and Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP). Sylvia’s story begins with two significant falls. The first incident occurred near a local church, where a misstep…

NHS Somerset launch “Sloppy Slippers Somerset” campaign to combat falls  

By Olivia Grant | January 10, 2024

In a move to improve the safety and well-being of ageing adults in Somerset (which has one of the oldest populations in the country), NHS Somerset, in partnership with Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP), has launched their “Sloppy Slippers” campaign. It aims to address a growing concern: the high incidence of falls among adults…

Sloppy Slippers Somerset Roadshow launches

By Olivia Grant | December 13, 2023

A Sloppy Slippers campaign is being launched in Somerset today, by Our Somerset to raise awareness of the importance of staying fit and well to reduce the number of people who fall and end up in hospital. Our Sloppy Slippers campaign is being delivered in partnership with Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP), who are…