Falls: measuring the impact on older people
This report looks at the impact, both physical and psychological, falls have on older people across Great Britain. One in three people aged over 65 falls every year. This has to be seen in the wider context of the fact that hospital re-admissions for the over 75s have risen annually from 306,000 to 360,000 per year in the period from 2006 – 2011. Falls can be prevented and with the right support, many older people who have fallen can be supported not to fall again. For example, this can be done through exercise classes that improve balance.
The research shows that in response to having a fall, many individuals lose their confidence to leave the home – thereby worsening their isolation. The recent findings of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing has underscored the extent to which clearly defined sections of the older population lack social connections, including older men and some people from deprived communities. WRVS research published in July 2012 showed that 20% of older people over the age of 75 do not leave the house for days (WRVS 2012). This isolation can create the conditions for problems with older people’s physical and mental health. The health impacts of loneliness are outlined in more detail in the Campaign To End Loneliness publication, Safeguarding the Convoy (Campaign To End Loneliness 2010: 10).
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