Incidences of falls increasing 30



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New statistics released by The Royal Melbourne Hospital shows that falls are the second biggest cause for admissions in older Australians. Behind chest pain, 540 people aged over 70 were admitted to the hospital in 2014, collapsing by fainting or falls with most taking place in their own home.

Over 60 per cent of the falls, took place at home, followed by residential facilities (14 per cent) and roads (11 per cent).

The impact of falls can vary from patient to patient, and can include bruises and sprains through to dislocations and even death.

Nick McDonald, a registered nurse, and founder of Prestige Inhome Care, a Melbourne-based in home care provider, says the results do not surprise him.

“We typically get 20-30 enquiries each month from concerned sons and daughters who have witnessed the effect of their parents falling. The causes are many and varied but commonly include slippery surfaces (baths, tiles and steps) through to inappropriate floor coverings and furniture,” says Nick. 

“You can’t imagine the snowball effect of a fall for an elderly person. It is unfortunately very common for a fall to be the catalyst that leads to placement in a residential facility and even premature death,” he said.

Nick believes simple adjustments can be taken in the home to minimise risk of falls.

“Rubber bath mats, hand rails in showers, floor mats, adequate lighting, tidy homes and chairs fitted to the correct height can drastically help. Also close monitoring of people on certain medications with illnesses like diabetes and dementia can drastically reduce their incidence of falls.

“It’s important that regular light exercise is part of a daily routine and that elderly people are ‘checked on’ regularly. I would highly recommend that anyone with concerns about an ageing loved one living at home invest in an expert to review the home environment and make recommendations about changes that will reduce their risk of falls,” says Nick.

Tell us, have you ever had a fall? What do you do to prevent them from occurring?


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  1. Err falls stats. Might pay to compare with the alcohol intake too ! It is about balance! Of everything!

  2. Yes I fell just the other day, fortunately for me I fell over a bed, unfortunately I had my arms full of wall posters on wood blocks and gouged a newly painted wall. I have severe arthritis and two very bad hips and I swear I drop things more now when it’s SO hard to pick them up than ever before. Hubby bought me a little wand gripper from a disability shop. It’s a godsend for picking things up. I am quite scared of falling as I lose my balance easily now.

  3. This also the beginning of the end to a lot of our senior citizens. They have a fall, break a hip leg etc and never really recover

  4. Falling in most case by our senior citizens has nothing to do with alcohol. When my brother was in his mid 70s he had a dizzy spell and ended up in hospital. They did every test under the sun and found nothing. He has just had his 80th birthday and still going strong. He has never drunk alcohol of any description

  5. A MUST…always hold the HAND RAIL…till the last step.. It’s that last step that can do da damage darling!!!

  6. I agree. Falls become the major problem with many. A broken hip for an elderly person is often the beginning of the end.

  7. I am trying to do all the recommended things because of osteoporosis and back surgery. I fell in hospital after private consultation and fixing the crystals in my ears due to vertigo. The specialist should’ve told me to sit for a while. Luckily i did’t break anything. It is tricky with the elderly, having vertigo often, then some strong medications such as lyrica for nerve pain which i am taking, etc. Yes, be tidy that eberything is in place. I have cloths everywhere to wipe some drops of water from the floor straight away, without bending, just with my feet, rails in the bathroom. And, be slow- i have problem with that – to slow down. Just my nature.

  8. My really bad fall occurred in the bathroom..stood up after sitting on the toilet at 3am and woke up on the floor with a broken leg! Just passed out! Fortunately I Didn,t hit my head in the fall! Was in bed for 7 weeks..not allowed to put my left foot to the ground! My family were wonderful. The leg still aches after 4 years! I,m VERY careful but you just can,t help it if you pass ou! The dangers of old age! X

  9. One of my cats is so loving and smooch he will be the death of me one day! I have to shuffle if he is around!

  10. Yes…over 60’s be on the lookout for a change in gait, dizziness, urine urgency these triad of symptoms could be the part of an insideous condition known as Normal Pressure hit me at 63 and constantly have to watch my step a year on and I’m still none the wiser. I do know it can be misdiagnosed!

  11. I have had 5 falls since my last knee op the last one was the worst, you don’t know you are going to fall l just went down. I am so very lucky l didn’t break my hip we have a stupid shower in the bath l can’t get in and out with my leg so l have a chair our hospital has loaned me until get back on my legs. It was so nice to be able to shower after 5 months of just having wahesbi in third ,

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