Falls in our Elderly – The Facts, Figures, and Prevention

Falls in our Elderly – The Facts, Figures, and Prevention

We all value an independent and active lifestyle, however as we age the risk of falling and losing some of that individuality increases. Unfortunately, the results of these falls, whether at home or outdoors, can lead to serious and sometimes life-changing injuries. At Isaac care it is our mission to empower our clients to live safely and independently, while also having peace of mind that care is on hand 24/7 should they need it.

Falls are becoming increasingly common in the aging community with 1 in 3 people aged 65+ and 1 in 2 aged 80+ suffering from a fall each year. After experiencing a fall, 66% will regrettably fall again within six months (according to the HSE).  

Yearly Fall Statistics

While not all falls are a cause for concern, 20% will require medical attention, and 10% experience a serious injury such as a fracture or head injury that can lead to long-term care.

2-3% of all injured older people require hospital admission (over 7,000 each year). Their average length of hospital stay is 12.7
days.

 

Percentage of injuries as a result of falls at home

It is important to look at the key factors that lead to these falls and ways in which to further prevent them.  

MyHomecare, Isaac’s care partner, explains, “Confined home environments for people can lead to those individuals with mobility and balance impairments, such as Parkinson’s and dementia, to experience falls. The decline in physical activity, loneliness, and lack of vitamin D are also consequences of social isolation, resulting in an increased risk of falls in our aging population.” 

The most common location for falls in the elderly is the home, with 60% of reported falls, and outside of the home following closely behind with 30% of reported falls.  

MyHomecare highlights some key fall risks, such as limitations in mobility, the undertaking of daily activities without accurate support, and polypharmacy, which is the concurrent use of multiple medications; “Those who are taking more than four different types of medication have been shown to be at an increased risk of falling” 

“Environmental hazards such as loose-fitting rugs, uneven floors, inadequate lighting, and stairs without supporting handrails are also risks.” 

Key Fall Risk Factors

In people aged 65+, an active lifestyle is encouraged to reduce loss of muscle mass, maintain coordination, and improve cognitive function. Often after the first fall, a person’s confidence is knocked leading them to become fearful of leaving the home, lose mobility and limit their activity, unfortunately, these responses are also a leading cause of reoccurring falls. 

It can be daunting to partake in activities and hobbies such as walking, fishing, golf, and gardening especially after experiencing a fall. Walking is a great way to get moving and enjoy the outdoors however it makes up 50% of outdoor falls with 11% a result of trips on curbs/footpaths.  

Here at Isaac, we help people to get back to their hobbies and regain their independence through our GPS tracking which is a defining factor that sets us apart from our competitors.  

The GPS locator offers peace of mind that whether you are walking, golfing, or simply out having a coffee with friends, your wellbeing is being looked after.   

No one wants to lose their independence, no one wants to give up their hobbies and no one wants to suffer from a fall or serious injury alone.  

Simple prevention methods, such as wearing the correct eyewear, good lighting, correct footwear, non-slip rugs, support rails, keeping active, and investing in fall assist technology can ensure our loved ones avoid difficult falls.   

It is also important to ensure those most susceptible to falls are informed and empowered to take control of their surroundings and take back their independence, with the support of a dedicated health care team, family, and friends.  

Fall Prevention Tips

Isaac’s Pendant offers 24/7 telecare and the full support of one of Ireland’s leading home care companies, MyHomecare, who are on hand to step in with in person care where needed. 

MyHomecare states that “We can detect whether the person is at risk, due to the trend in key measurements recorded on Isaac’s remote health management app. The Isaac App allows family members, neighbours, friends, and other voluntary carers to participate in a circle of care for an individual.” 

By implementing these changes, it can reduce these statistics, hospital admissions, and severity of injury, but most of all it can ensure our loved ones can get back to living an active independent, and fulfilled life.   

Get in Touch

Our dedicated team are on hand to assist you in any way. Contact us on (042) 936 8391 or fill in your details in the contact form and one of our team will be in touch.

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