I was sad to read that many elderly people who are worried about falling are making themselves prisoners in their own home.
According to research from Age UK, a third of adults over 65 will fall each year. A report by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service charity also found that a fifth of the people who had suffered a fall in the last year had lost their confidence because of it.
Winter weather makes the elderly especially worried because of the poor street conditions. Each year nearly three quarters of a million people over 60 visit A & E following a fall and a third of these people have to stay in hospital due to the injuries that they have sustained. In 2009, 3,593 deaths were due to falls.
It is very upsetting to think that people are stuck in their houses for the winter months, but when you consider the damage that a fall can cause you can see why people do not want to risk it.
Age UK has made some suggestions for ways to prevent falls including ensuring that rooms are well lit and clutter-free and using non-slip rugs. These tips could help avoid falls in the home but what can we do to help people over 65 get out of the house?
I don’t know if there really is that much that we can do. Walking in the winter can be very treacherous, not just for elderly people but for everybody. I hope that people have friends and family who can visit them and take them out during the winter months so that they have some companionship.
If you are looking for ways to help then visit the Age UK website for information and ideas about how to help elderly people in the winter months: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/spread-the-warmth/.