Falls in Elderly Patients
It is known that approximately one in three people over the age of 65 living in the community will fall each year. This figure approaches one in two by the age of 80, and fall rates are even higher for residents of nursing homes and those in institutions. Falls cause injuries such as bruising, lacerations and fractures, for example Colles’s fracture and fractured neck of femur. These injuries are both costly to the individual, in terms of loss of independence and functional ability, and costly to the health and social care services.
It is estimated that the Government in England and Wales spends an average of £15 million annually on fall-related injuries; this excludes hip fracture, which costs the Government in the UK £1.7 billion annually. Further hidden costs for the individual occur in terms of depression, loss of confidence and even mortality. One of the leading cause of accidental death in older people are unfortunately falls. Up to 30% of falls are preventable if a standardised multidisciplinary approach is used.