Sunday, 25 September 2011
Britain is no country for old men who fall over
Falls and hip fractures are a big reason why the health of old men deteriorates and they are unable to remain at home and apparently, each year, more than 500,000 old people end up in hospital accident and emergency departments after a fall.
A report from the 'Royal College of Physicians',however, has revealed that in many parts of the country, treatment and prevention of falls is substandard.
The facts are, that :
* falls and fractures in the over-65s account for more than 4,000,000 bed days a year in England, at an estimated cost of £2,000,000,000.
* 'guidelines' say old people who fall should receive 'prompt treatment', but 33% of those with hip fractures do not receive pain relief within an hour of arriving in hospital and there is also inadequate attention to prevention of pressure sores or to early provision of intravenous fluids.
* every old person who has suffered a fracture in a fall should also have an assessment to establish how mobile they are and how good their balance is and 94% of 'primary care trusts' claim to do this but only 34% of those who break their wrist, arm, pelvis or spine are assessed.
* the important principle of care is to respond to the first fracture in order to prevent the second and old people cannot currently be assured that their local National Health Services will do this.
* Dr Jonathan Potter, a Clinical Diecto at the Royal College of Physicians's said : "it was starkly apparent that what organisations say they provide is not matched by what people receive".
* Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of 'Age UK', which helped carry out the audit said :
"Falling and breaking a bone can have serious, life-changing consequences for older people – one of which is that they are much more likely to suffer falls in the future. It is extremely worrying then that in many areas of the country, people who have already broken bones are not receiving the treatment and support to avoid future injury, including the lack of referral to comprehensive falls prevention services."
Question : Are these clips of old people falling over funny ?
Thanks for your comment 'English Rider', nice to know that across the Atlantic my views strike a chord.