Falls are no joke!
Laura Stuart-Neil and the Care City team have written a blog about their work on reducing falls in the Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge region, and also what people can do to reduce their risks of falls.
Why are falls important?
Falls are a significant problem for older people. Around 1 in 3 of those aged over 65 will fall in a year, this rises to 1 in 2 in the over 80s. We know that falls have a high impact for older people – many who fall are afraid to leave their house in case they fall again. This reduces confidence and independence and leads to social isolation. 80% of those who sustain a hip fracture will not regain their full mobility and 30% will die within a year. There is also a high impact for our health and social care system. Fractures from falls account for 1.5 million bed days each year and it is estimated that the annual cost of falls in the over 60s in England is £5.6 million each day with an additional £3 billion per year on local authority/residential care spend.
This challenge is no different in our local area. An audit in 2013 by UCLPartners found that falls were the biggest single reason for attendance at Queens Hospital A&E – accounting for 25% of attendances in the over 75s. Over a three month period (April – June 2014) 443 people aged over 65 were admitted to BHRUT following a fall, 234 of whom had sustained a fracture.
And these are only the falls we know about – it is estimated the 75% of falls are not reported and there is no one database recording falls.