Falls and their Impact on the Elder Population

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-Introduction: Aging affects the musculoskeletal , respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems, as well as posture and gait, which all lead to a decrease in activities of daily living, fitness ability, and falls (Nitz & hourigan, 2004).Falls may have significant devastating effects on the elderly population including pain, reduced confidence to return to normal mobility, becoming dependant on relatives and other people, premature transition to care homes, and most importantly injuries (NICE guideline, 2004) .The World Health Organisation (2012) reported falls as being the 2nd main cause of unintentional injury leading to death. In the UK falls are likely to increase as the population are expected to live longer. The number of people aged 60 or above in the UK is expected to exceed the 20 million mark by 2031 (NHS confederation, 2012). One in three adults over the age of 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year and more repeated falls will occur in half of these. Those in the older population who fall once are likely to fall two to three times again within a year (NHS choices, 2013). The cost for the NHS is currently £2.3 billion a year on falls. Approximately 10% of the calls to the Ambulance service in the UK get consumed by people over 65 due to falls. (World Health Organization Europe, 2004). Over four million hospital beds get used every year in England, for falls and fractures of the population aged 65 years and over (Age UK). Between April 2012 to February 2013 , there were 410,377 admissions to hospitals for falls , the highest percentage of people admitted were the elderly population especially women, the highest reasons for falls were unspecified and slips/trips (Health and social care informatio... ... middle of paper ... ...y cost more to implement it. However, the long term cost will be in the technology favour. The proposed program is simple to apply and will reduce the number of falls among the elderly population, especially the ones who are waiting for long term health services. It will increase the awareness of the falls risk factors between the elderly people as well. The use of an audio video DVD has its benefits compared to other alternatives and would be cheap to produce. The evaluation of the effectiveness of the program is straight forward. The next step for this program if it shows success is to create a software application which could be used on smart devices. This application will not only have exercises and tips but it could also have a calendar, an alarm to do the exercises regularly and a way to communicate with the therapist just with a touch to the screen.

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