Home Care can Help Elderly People with Fear of Falling

Thursday, 01st November 2012

Published 01 November 2012.

A recent report by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service charity (“WRVS”) has highlighted the extent to which elderly people are suffering from falls and the psychological impact this has on them.

According to the findings, more than 35% of people over 65 have fallen in the last two years and 32% of those living alone have suffered a fall in the last year (compared to 22% of people who do not live alone). This has also been seen across hospitals with the number of readmissions of people over 75 having risen from 306,000 to 360,000 per annum in the period 2006-2011.

Falls can have a major psychological impact upon elderly people often resulting in individuals losing the confidence to leave the home. Over one fifth of elderly people who had a fall in the last year have lost their confidence and 10% report that they have lost independence as a result. The impact on confidence is worse during winter months when elderly people feel they are much more vulnerable to falls. Fear of falling now means that 5% of people over the age of 75 will not leave the home by themselves, equating to 225,000 people in the UK.

Of course, as people lose the confidence to leave home they experience increased isolation and loneliness. At the same time, many people fail to inform a medical professional about falls, often because they view it as a minor consequence of ageing. This can result in people not receiving the support they need to remain independent at home, therefore being forced into residential care sooner than may be necessary.

It is important that elderly people and their families are encouraged to speak with their GP and / or local social services team who can help them seek specialist support or advice with regards to falls. Help to improve confidence and well-being can then be provided by teams or organisations focused on things such as falls prevention and rehabilitation.

Support from a professional home care team can also help reduce the risk of falls, improve people’s confidence and ensure that they are able to retain independence at home for as long as possible. This can include a wide range of support options such as basic help around the home, running errands, support to attend appointments, intensive support with mobility or even simply helping reduce isolation and loneliness through the companionship of a professional home carer.

About Carefound:

Carefound is a provider of specialist home care and dementia care services to elderly people in North Yorkshire, enabling clients to continue to live independently in the comfort of their own home whilst maintaining the highest quality of life achievable. Services provided include basic help in the home,companionship, personal care, medication help, post-operative rehabilitation, respite care and specialist help such as dementia care and palliative care. The flexible service ranges from 1 hour to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, including bank holidays, and can also encompass 24-hour live in care services.

Source: WRVS, Carefound.