Each year in the UK, around 6,000 people a year die following an accident at home and many thousands are injured.
The single biggest cause of accidental injuries in the home are falls and people over the age of 65 are by far the most affected.
In fact, a report produced by Newcastle University for RoSPA/RSA found that falls are the largest cause of accidental death among over-65s in the UK. There has been a rise in both deaths and mortality rates per 100,000 people from falls among over-65s since 2015 – the number of deaths rising 7.5 per cent between 2017 and 2018 and the rate per 100,000 up to 50.4 from 47.3.
One in three people over 65 fall at least once a year, increasing to one in two aged 80 and over, and these falls can have a huge impact on their lives; from physical injuries, long-term health effects and disabilities to trauma and poor mental health, loss of mobility, loneliness, social isolation and loss of independence.
Falls also impact hugely on society as a whole; the family, friends and neighbours of the person who falls are affected, along with the burden placed on health and social care services and the effects on the economy overall. Eighty per cent of hospital admissions for accidents among over 65s are due to falls, costing the NHS and wider healthcare system more than £2.3billion every year.
Older people are at such a high risk of falls due to a number of factors, including muscle weakness, poor balance, visual impairment, the concurrent use of multiple medicines as well as certain individual medicines, environmental hazards, some medical conditions and having a history of falls.