Prue Leith, 79, has accomplished an eye-watering amount in her lifetime. She is a restaurateur, chef, caterer, television presenter/broadcaster, businesswoman, journalist, cookery writer and novelist. She reached a new level of fame when she joined The Great British Bake Off in March 2017, replacing Mary Berry, when the series moved to Channel 4. Despite her enduring success, she is not complacent, especially when it comes to her health.
Speaking to Mirror Online, the star expressed concerns about falling over at her age. She recounted a distressing episode that left her worried.
The Bake Off judge said: “A couple of years ago I fell at our train station and it’s taken me two years to recover.
“You don’t want to break a leg or hip at my age.
“I think if I can keep everything working, I will be OK.”
As the NHS explained: “Anyone can have a fall, but older people are more vulnerable and likely to fall, especially if they have a long-term health condition.”
Falls are a common, but often overlooked cause of injury.
As the NHS reported, around one in three adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls.
The risk does not stop at broken bones. As the health site noted, falling over can also take its toll psychologically, causing a person to lose confidence, become withdrawn, and feel as if they they have lost their independence.
There are important steps people can take to prevent falling over.
According Bupa, doing exercises can help to improve a person’s strength and balance. It also helps people to stay mobile and independent.
Advice that Leith has heeded: “I have a personal trainer who comes once or twice a week.”
According to Bupa, people should try to do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise, over the week, along with some strength training twice a week.
The health body added: “You can try breaking this up into small chunks and gradually building up your fitness.
“Walking, gardening, dancing, yoga, pilates, tai chi and swimming are all great ways to stay active.”
According to the NHS, other preventative measures include:
- A person should have a sight test if they are experiencing problems with their vision, even if they already wear glasses
- Having an ECG and checking their blood pressure while lying and standing
- Requesting a home hazard assessment, where a healthcare professional visits a person’s home to identify potential hazards and give advice
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