People in residential and nursing care homes are at a ‘higher risk’ of fracturing a bone after suffering a fall than any other patient group, a university team has found.
According to research conducted by the University of Derby, those aged over 65 who are currently in residential care account for 20% of all patients who are treated for fractures after having a fall, despite making up only 4.5% of the entire UK population.
The team studied 3,700 vulnerable people living in Gloucestershire and found that 42% of them had suffered a fall in the past year, while 1,077 elderly people had suffered multiple falls.
Dr Jonathan Bayly, a visiting fellow at the University of Derby, said: “4.5% of the UK population over age 65 live in residential care, yet 20% of the people who suffer a fracture from a fall come from this setting, making them the highest risk group of patients when it comes to falls.
“What is encouraging is that following the study, many GPs in the area have agreed to review the recommendations made and consider appropriate changes in prescribing practice.”
The findings have raised concerns over the diets of many elderly and vulnerable people currently in care homes after it was found that many residents were suffering from a lack of calcium and vitamin D, which aid bone and muscle strength.