Irish rate of falls among older people has not declined

by Redazione West - 2013.04.19

In Ireland, a HSE strategy introduced five years ago to combat falls among older people has not been implemented. In 2008, the HSE introduced its falls strategy to combat a problem that is costing more than €500 million a year, a figure projected to rise to €1 billion a year with the ageing of the population. It is estimated that 10 per cent of all older people need treatment following an injury and 75 per cent of those injuries are accounted for by falls. The HSE’s strategy was to raise awareness in particular of osteoporosis, the bone disease which accounts for a large percentage of falls and is preventable in most cases. It also outlined best practice guidelines including the establishment of a multidisciplinary integrated falls and fractures team (MDT) in each acute hospital with the team being consultant-led. According to a new study, the implementation of the strategy has not occurred. Half of all fallers who fracture their hips are still never functional walkers again and 20 per cent will die within six months. Moreover, those who fracture their hip bone are 1.5 times more likely to die than those with other fractures.

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