Hip fracture is a major challenge for health services worldwide, and can be catastrophic for the individual who experiences it, in addition to their friends, family and carers. The consequences of a broken hip can range from physical disability through reduced mobility and loss of independence, to death. It has been estimated that approximately 25% to 40% of people following a hip fracture die within the first 12 months after their injury. This has been, in part, attributed to the fact that many of these people are older and have numerous medical conditions which place them at greater risk of death irrespective of their hip fracture.
Given this high risk and the large number of people who experience a hip fracture annually, our team aimed to identify characteristics which could predict who would be at greatest risk of dying following a hip fracture. Continue reading →
The answer is a great deal as you can see in this article on ‘older people’s experiences of therapeutic exercise’ – available online in Age and Ageing. Don’t think it was just younger people (55 to 74 years) that responded; some people that completed a questionnaire were over 95 years of age which just goes to show that people of all ages were exercising and were able to give important feedback about their experiences of NHS run therapeutic exercise programmes to reduce falls. Continue reading →
Hip fracture is a common, serious and costly injury affecting mainly older people. It usually results from the combination of osteoporosis and a fall from standing height or less. Care is complex and involves surgical, medical and rehabilitation interventions.
Ahead of her session at the BGS Falls and Postural Stability Conference in September, Kate Robertson writes with Alex Macdonald for the Geriatric Medicine blog about falls in care homes.
Falls in older adults are common and the rate is three
times higher in people in care homes than in those living in their own homes. Falls in care homes are associated with considerable mortality and morbidity-hip fractures are significantly more prevalent than in community-dwelling older people, with rates in female care home residents estimated as high as 50.8 hip fractures per 1000 person-years.1
We finish our coverage of falls awareness week with a blog by Bryony Elliott, Geriatric Trainee in Nottingham. She tweets at @BryonyBryboss.
On Friday the 7th June interested health care professionals from around the country assembled at Nottingham City Hospital to learn about Falls. It was the Trent BGS Falls Symposium.
What struck me first was the diverse group of professionals in the lecture theatre. Looking at the delegate list there were consultants and trainees in geriatric medicine, physios, occupational therapists, nurse specialists, and from all across the country too. A variety of people with a lot of enthusiasm, which was great to behold. Continue reading →
It may seem obvious to some that there is a strong link between how well you can see and your chances of suffering a fall, especially as you get older. Yet our new research has revealed that it’s not so obvious to almost a third (32%) of people in the UK with parents over the age 65.
Up to one in three people over 65 will experience a fall each year so it is not surprising that nearly half of those who took part in our research said they had an older friend, parent or relative who had fallen. However, it is surprising, and worrying, that fewer than three per cent of people questioned said their parents’ deteriorating eyesight was a cause for concern.
The financial and human repercussions of falls are significant: Age UK estimates that the cost to the NHS of treating older people who have suffered a fall is up to £4.6m a day, and suffering a fall can seriously reduce quality of life as the chances of a full recovery reduce with age. Tragically, in some cases a fall can be fatal. Continue reading →
Philip Hurst is National Development Manager – Health at Age UK
Anyone can trip or fall. If we are honest with ourselves, I wouldn’t mind betting that every one of us can remember an embarrassing moment where we stumbled in the street and carried on, pretending it didn’t happen and praying that no one saw. But as we age our risk of falling increases and the consequences can be devastating. We need to do all we can to reducing the risk of falling. An obvious, but curiously often overlooked, place to start is to look after our feet.
Falls Awareness Week, which this year takes place between 17th-21st June, is a wonderful way of raising awareness of the dangers of falling and what can be done to prevent it. It is not only people who are more at risk of falling who need to be more aware. All health and care professionals who come into contact with older people need to know what messages to give and how they can help . Continue reading →
Dr Terence Ong is a Research Fellow at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Professor Opinder Sahota is Professor of Orthogeriatric Medicine and Consultant Physician at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
image by epSos.de
Vitamin D is not, in the truest sense, a vitamin because it is not exclusively obtained through diet alone. It is a secosteroid, mostly obtained intrinsically by the effect of ultraviolet radiation on previtamin D compounds and subsequent hydroxylation in the liver and kidneys.
Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium and phosphate homeostasis through its effect on gut and bone metabolism. Besides that, it also plays a key role in muscle function. In recent years, our understanding of vitamin D has expanded and we are starting to appreciate its much broader role in areas such as the immune system, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Continue reading →
Dr Frances Healey is a registered nurse who is Associate Director for Patient Safety at NHS England and a Research Associate at Newcastle University. Follow her @FrancesHealey
In our paper in Age and Ageing, Terry Haines and I present findings on the predictive values of the Morse Falls Risk Score, using data drawn from routine clinical practice in an acute hospital setting. However the data were cut, we found no clearly clinically useful predictive values, and the threshold score most commonly used to indicate a patient at risk of falls performed no better than tossing a coin. As we discuss, our findings are not new, but echo a series of studies carried out over the past two decades on all versions of falls risk scores. Concerns about falls risk scores relate not only to their predictive value, but for the potential for scoring to become a substitute for action, for scoring to override common sense, and for scoring to lead to a ‘one size fits all’ approach, despite the differing needs and wishes of individual patients. Continue reading →
Hip fracture, which usually results from the combination of a fall and pre existing osteoporosis, is the most common serious injury of older people, with around 76,000 cases occurring per year across the UK. Many patients are already frail. Mortality is high, residual disability common, and care costly. Although there is good evidence on best practice in surgical, medical and rehabilitation care following hip fracture, such care and its outcomes – in terms of return home and also of mortality – continue to vary.