Over 65s fall numbers increasing

A new report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on Wednesday shows that just over 100,000 people aged 65 and over were hospitalised due to a fall in 2014–15.

Women accounted for most of the fall injury cases for over 65s (74,186).

The report also found that more Australians are being hospitalised for injuries, with falls (41 per cent) and transport crashes (12 per cent) the leading causes.

“Overall, people aged 65 or over accounted for 30 per cent of injury cases, with the majority of these being for falls,” said AIHW spokesperson Professor James Harrison.

Injuries to the hip and thigh (24 per cent) and head (24 per cent) were the most common types of injury resulting from a fall, with the rates of injury to the head more than doubling over the period 2002–03 to 2014–15.

There was a decrease in the rate of hip fractures due to falls (–2 per cent per year) between 2002–03 and 2014–15.

The report also found that falls were responsible for 40 per cent of traumatic spinal cord injuries and 35 per cent of eye injuries.

Overall, the number of hospitalised injury cases across Australia rose from 327,000 in 1999–2000 to 480,000 in 2014–15.

“This equated to one person requiring hospitalisation in every 58 Australians in 1999–2000, rising to about one in 50 in 2014–15,” Prof Harrison explained.

After adjusting for changes in the population structure, this is an average rate increase of about one per cent per year.

The report found the number of hospitalisations for accidental poisoning and assault had fallen over the same period. 

Have you ever suffered an injury as a result of a fall? How long did it take to recover? Have you tried balance exercises to prevent falling?

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Written by Ben

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