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Falls Awareness

Every year between 33 and 50 per cent of people over the age of 65 suffer a fall.

For every 100 of those people who fall, 20 will need medical help and just under 10 will sustain a fracture.

Falls can lead to a long stay in hospital and  can result in people experiencing a loss of confidence, self esteem and reduced independence.

Falls can often result in a 'long lie' for a person who is unable to get up from the floor. This can have potentially serious consequences such as hypothermia, pneumonia  and pressure ulcers . A 'long lie' of 12 hours or more can seriously affect a person's recovery from a fall.

Falls can often result in fractures (broken bones), most commonly in the hips and wrists. People with thin bones, as a result of osteoporosis, are likely to sustain fractures more often.

The consequences of a fall can be described in three categories:

Physical Consequences                  thinbonesrex_228x301           

:Discomfort pain
:serious injury
:inability to look after oneself
:long term disability

Social Consequences

:loss of independence
:loss of social contacts
:loss of home
:move to residential care
:financial costs of help/care/hospital
:decreased quality of life
:changes to daily routine

Psychological Consequences

:loss of confidence
:loss of independence
:fear
:distress
:guilt
:blame
:anxiety
:embarrassment 

Falls Prevention 

Keep feet healthy. Foot problems can increase the risk of falls. Talk to your chiropodist about keeping your feet healthy and wearing the correct type of shoes. Click here to find out more information.(external link)

Medicines. Some medicines can make you dizzy and increase your risk of a fall. If dizziness is one of the side effects of any medication you are taking, or if you take more than four different medicines, ask your GP or pharmacist for a medicines review. Click here for more information. (external link) 

Check your eyesight. Eye tests are free if you are over 60. Make sure you have a regular eye test with your local optician. Click here to find out more information. (external link)

Home safety. Think carefully before doing hazardous tasks such as standing on chairs to reach high places or stretching to change a light bulb. Take care on the stairs and make sure you have good lighting, especially around stairwells. Talk to your GP if you have any concerns. Click here to find out more. (external link)

Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps keep bones healthy and strong. It is found in some foods but is mostly formed by sunlight on the skin.  Click here to find out more information. (external link)

Osteoporosis. The chance of developing osteoporosis (brittle bones) increases as we age. Keep your bones healthy by eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D and taking regular, weight-bearing exercise. Discuss osteoporosis the next time you visit your GP or nurse.  Click here to find out more information. (external link)

Click here  to see how we promoted National Falls Awareness in 2009