Falls among the elderly are increasingly common and are a large driver of urgent and at times emergency community response.
They are also a major cause of a decrease in quality of life, loss of independence and when left without response for over an hour, associated with hospital admission and long-term moves into care as a result.
Every year, at least one fall will be experienced by:
• 1 in 3 adults over 65
• Half of people over 80
Recent government modelling predicts that changes to activity levels will result in an increase to these numbers with:
• 110,000 more elderly adult fallers.
• An additional cost of £211 million to the NHS as a result.
However, not all falls result in serious injury and can be responded to by community-based falls services.
Alleviating Ambulance Services:
Ambulance services are usually called to respond to people who have fallen in the community. Some ambulance services have recognised the need to reduce callouts for uninjured falls and have delivered training sessions and issued equipment for social care providers to support elderly fallers in the community.
Programs from North East Ambulance Service & the Welsh Ambulance Service Trusts have seen results including:
• 87% increase in in-house falls response
• Lifting equipment used in 56% of cases.
• A 32% reduction in calls to 999 from 115 care homes
The Raizer Lifting Chair: A Solution to Non-Injurious Community Falls:
The Raizer is a portable, electric lifting chair that allows a carer to provide rapid response for a non-injurious fall. An intuitive design means the Raizer can be set up in under a minute and requires no staff training to use.
A single carer can complete a remote-controlled mechanical patient lift in just 30 seconds once the chair is assembled.
A Raizer lifting chair can help to:
• Free up carers’ time: The process can take as little as 5 minutes from set up to lifting.
• Reduce long-lie times: Carers can respond to non-injurious falls quickly.
• Alleviate ambulance stress: Reduce the number of ambulances calls for non-injurious falls.
Reducing Long Lie Times | The Long-Term Plan for Community Falls:
The NHS Long-Term Plan aims to shift demand from acute hospital care into social care by offering ‘joined up health and care services’ where appropriate.
In practice, this means an increase of community-based falls response teams as well as social care providers and emergency services working together to provide faster falls response to uninjured fallers.
These teams respond to non-injurious falls that do not require ambulances and crucially, reduce the number of long-lies on the ground for over an hour. This is particularly important for the oldest residents, a recent study showed:
• 59% of all over 90s have been found on the floor at some stage.
• 88% of those who fell were unable to get up.
• 33% of over 90s spent over one hour on the ground before receiving assistance.
Social care providers must explore innovative solutions that will allow ambulances to redirect their focus to the most urgent emergencies.
Government services should focus on community-based falls response to alleviate system pressures by establishing a ‘home-first approach to care’ that sees the healthcare support offered in a person’s place of residence.
Appropriate tech-enabled falls response equipment such as the Raizer Lifting Chair and falls responder training can address the over reliance on emergency services to respond to non-injurious community falls and contribute to a more efficient and effective emergency response system.
For more information on the Raizer Lifting Chair:
Phone: 01423 799 960