Falls Prevention Saves Lives and Money
Every year more than 223,000 people over 60 suffer a fracture as a result of a fall resulting in 1.5 million hospital bed days in the UK. Those are just some of the alarming statistics released by Age UK as part of National Falls Prevention Week which runs from the 17th – 21st June. The annual cost of falls to the over 60s runs at a staggering ?5.6 million per day and as Michelle Mitchell, the Charity Director General at Age UK points out with an aging population things are set to get worse. “With the older population projected to rise by nearly 50% in the next 20 years, the number of people over 60 experiencing falls to the extent where they are receiving hospital treatment is a real concern. Falls in later life are often dismissed as an inevitable part of growing older, however the reality is that there is something we can all do to prevent a fall and increase our chances of living a healthy and independent life for as long as possible.?
Research has shown that tailored exercise programmes can reduce risk by up to 50%. The problem is not confined to physical effects with falls destroying confidence that leaves one in ten older people afraid to leave their homes in case they fall again. The incidence of falls rises during the winter months when inadequately heated dwellings can lead to an increase in arthritis and rheumatism symptoms making maintaining balance more difficult. ? ??