Why are lethal falls on the increase?
New figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal a massive rise in the number of over 85s dying from falls. Between 2008 and 2016 the number of deaths from falls in men over 85 rose by 177% and in women by 72%. Such deaths are rising much faster than the general increase in the elderly population (the number of over 85s increased by only 19% during this period), so what are the reasons behind this worrying trend?
Health professional bodies such as the Society for Acute Medicine and the British Geriatrics Society put this rise in lethal falls down to cuts in social care for frail senior citizens living at home and shortages of hospital nursing and health care staff.
In the UK:
- 4500 senior citizens die within 30 days of a hip fracture each year and 20,000 within a year of the injury. This does not take account of those dying from other fall injuries such as head injuries
- Less than 2000 people die each year from road accidents
- Less than 700 people a year die from violent crime
- Less than 200 people have died in terrorist attacks on UK soil in the last 20 years
All avoidable deaths need to be given priority by society?