Elderly people staying at home for fear of falling

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19 November 2012

Elderly people staying at home for fear of falling

by Dr Rekha Elaswarapu, Helping Hands Advisor

A fear of falling is rendering many elderly people prisoners in their own homes, a survey of 500 people aged 75 and above undertaken by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service charity has suggested. More than one in five interviewed lived in fear of falling.

According to the report 5% were found to be fearful to leave their homes unaccompanied. A third of them had suffered falls in recent years and a fifth of these said they had lost confidence as a result. Many said they were especially worried during winter months.

A quarter attributed poor street conditions – poor lighting and uneven pavements – to making them feel less confident about leaving the house.

Not being able to leave their home can render an elderly person socially isolated and lonely. With the days getting shorter this problem is even more significant in current times.

Many older people live by themselves; being cut off with outside world can be detrimental to their emotional well-being. Falls in elderly can lead to many serious consequences including hospital admissions.

Having a live in carer can be a significant support in ensuring that elderly people are able to enjoy life as they would like to and not lose confidence due to fear of falling.

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