The number of people who fall over the age of 65 years is increasing and fall-related injury represents the single largest cause of hospital presentations. No other single cause of injury, including road trauma, costs the health system more than falls. In NSW each year, falls lead to approximately 27,000 hospitalisations and more than 400 deaths.
More than one in three people aged 65 or over fall at least once a year and many fall more often, which can impact on peoples wellbeing and lifestyle. Falls are even more common among residents of aged care facilities and the number of falls-related incidents in hospital are high.
There has been extensive research demonstrating that many falls among older people can be prevented.
Older Persons' Patient Safety Program - the CEC NSW Fall Prevention Program, following the Leading Better Care (LBVC) falls in hospital collaborative, and the CEC Pressure Injury Project have been realigned to a broader emphasis on the safe care of older people. This program has been established to ensure safe, reliable and high value care for older people.
The prevention of falls and pressure injury is a significant health issue, and minimising harm by focusing on key factors such as frailty, cognitive impairment (dementia and delirium), poor mobility, medications and nutrition will assist in reducing poor outcomes for older people. The CEC Comprehensive Care – Minimising Harm model aligns with the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS), Comprehensive Care and Partnering with Consumers standards.
NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network
The CEC also provides leadership for the NSW Falls Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network, in order to disseminate and promote research, share falls prevention and healthy ageing knowledge, expertise and resources through forums and meetings. The NSW Fall Prevention Network and Health Ageing website includes a number of resources for those working in the hospital, community and residential aged care sectors.