6,300 people in Wales over the age of 75 won't leave their homes on their own because they are scared about falling. That's the findings of a report published on Wednesday by older people's charity WRVS.
The research found that among people in Wales over the age of 75:
- 25% have fallen in the past two years
- 19% who have fallen in the past five years have lost their confidence as a result
- 9% who have fallen in the past five years say they are less independent as a result
- 52% say they feel much more vulnerable to falling in the winter
500 older people around the UK were interviewed last month for the survey. 125 of them were in Wales.
The research also found that people living on their own are much more likely to have a fall. It reports the physical impact falls can have on older people, but focuses particularly on the "devastating" impact on the mental wellbeing of older people, highlighting how falling or the fear of falling can lead to isolation and loneliness.
WRVS is urging older people to get in contact, to it can provide support through its 40,000 volunteers.
The NHS has issued advice on how to prevent falls happening. It says changes around the house, such as these, can stop older people having falls:
- Mopping up spillages straight away
- Removing clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpet
- Using high-wattage light bulbs in lamps and torches so that you can see clearly
- Wearing well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
David Wood reports.