Keep safe, have a plan

Picture of garden
Focus group member, Wellington

I always take my mobile phone into the garden with me. If I don’t have a pocket, I just pop it under my bra-strap up near my shoulder. If you trip over and your phone is on the other side of the garden, what’s the point in taking it out there in the first place?

A fall can happen

You can plan ahead so that you're prepared in case you fall.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • keep your telephone within easy reach, even from the floor
  • leave a spare key in a secure place outside or with someone you trust so they can let themselves in if needed
  • get a personal medical alarm
  • discuss your plans with friends, family or neighbours.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document, which sets out who can take care of your personal or financial matters if you can’t.

Find out more about Enduring Power of Attorney

What to do if you fall

  • Stay calm and assess your situation
  • Decide whether you’ll try to get up
  • If you can get up, use something sturdy to support yourself
  • Get medical help if you need it, and tell your doctor about the fall
  • If you can’t get up, try to get to the phone or call out to attract attention, and make yourself as comfortable as possible until help arrives.

Use your personal medical alarm

If you have a personal alarm, use it. 

A number of people we’ve talked to have not activated their alarms after having a fall for fear of being thought of as a nuisance. If can't get to a phone or call for help, you must set off your alarm. The people at the other end won’t think you’re a nuisance at all, and your family will be relieved to know help was at hand when you needed it.

If you suspect you may have a concussion

Talk to your doctor if you had a fall and suspect you may have a concussion. They'll assess you to confirm if you have a brain injury and how severe the injury is.

More about falls and concussion