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Elderly fall risks highlighted

22nd May 2006

A new study has called for greater awareness to be paid to the risk of falls in elderly people.

A report in the Emergency Medicine Journal claims that falls by the elderly, which are believed to cost the health service £145 per incident, can be reduced with the implementation of simple measures.

The report's authors said that the introduction of fall teams in local communities would help by highlighting people most at risk and taking measures to prevent falls, as well as reacting quickly to incidents.

The recommendations are the result of a study of calls to the ambulance service in the North East England regarding people over the age of 65.

Many calls were found to have originated from sheltered accommodation and public care homes, suggesting that care of elderly residents is in some cases inadequate.

In addition, the majority of calls for ambulances were found to be unnecessary, with most of those who had fallen just requiring transportation to the hospital rather than help in getting up.

Once at the hospital, one in four were found to be in need of medical attention.