Falls among older Australians have a significant impact on the affected person, their family and friends and the Australian healthcare system. While many falls may be relatively minor in nature, one to two per cent of falls result in hip fractures. The significance of this is that approximately 25 per cent of those who break a hip die within 12 months of that fall and consequent fracture. The good news for pharmacists and their patients is that simple interventions can reduce the risk of falling. A key issue is to develop and maintain strength and balance - but reducing hazards in the home, screening for vision impairment and correcting it, and evaluating the need for calcium and vitamin D supplementation and supplementing where indicated, all contribute to reducing the fear and risks of falling so that our elderly can enjoy a well-earned retirement. A useful resource for pharmacists and their staff is Falls in older people: risk factors and strategies for prevention by Stephen Lord, Catherine Sherrington, Hylton Menz, and Jacqueline Close (Cambridge University Press, March 2007) from the Falls & Balance Research Group at Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute in Sydney. This text outlines in a clear and comprehensive manner the epidemiology of falls, various risk factors for falls and their relative contribution and contains a detailed discussion of strategies of prevention.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 09 Oct 2008|