In this week’s news update we cover the stories about the elderly who are less likely to fall, freezing weather conditions and depression among our elders.
‘Pride doesn’t come before a fall’
The topic of falls among the elderly hit the headlines this week, in the Telegraph, suggesting that ‘pride doesn’t come before a fall’ after all. The article highlighted that “Pensioners with a sense of pride are less likely to suffer serious falls.”
This statement comes after research conducted on 11,000 elders.
A team of researchers from the universities of Stirling and Aberdeen and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley asked participants to what degree they felt proud in the previous 30 days.
To the question of how proud they felt, 25.9 per cent of respondents said “very much,”32.6 per cent said “quite a bit,” 24.3 per cent said “moderately,”12 per cent said “a little” and 5.1 per cent said “not at all.”
Analysis of the results, published in the British Medical Journal, showed that the odds of reported falls were significantly lower for people with high pride levels compared with those who had low pride.
It’s estimated that a cost of £1.1 billion of the taxpayer’s money is spent every year on those that suffer from falls over the age of 60. It’s suggested that pensioners with higher levels of pride may walk with better posture and head position, allowing them to better identify their surrounds and avoid hazards.
Dr Michael Daly states that:
Contrary to the well-known saying ‘pride comes before a fall’, these findings suggest that pride may actually be a protective factor against falling in older adults.”
Further studies will look into the physical factors of this claim and the mechanisms to see whether it is a true statement. Of course, as many of reach into our very late years it can be inevitable to suffer from falls as we become frail and unsteady on our feet. For those that live at home alone and have no immediate help it can be a dangerous situation when a fall occurs. Not only this, but it adds further strain to emergency services as elders are unable to call for immediate help if they have no support and this can mean they are lying on the floor for hours and health deteriorating.
It’s highly suggested that help at home is acquired whether this is in terms of family and neighbours regularly visiting or purchasing aids like an elderly personal alarm.
Careline’s core mission it to protect those that have falls by providing an emergency alarm service. Our alarms are particularly aimed at those who are elderly, frail and disabled and live at home alone. They provide peace of mind to the user knowing that in the event of a fall or accident they can easily push a button that is worn around the neck or on the wrist and an alert will be sent to a 24/7 care team to react and send help.
Big Freeze Urge To Support Elders
The second most popular news topic in the news, both this week and last week, concerns the freezing weather that has hit the UK. There’s been an huge call for family members to look out for elderly relatives and neighbours to look in too.
When it’s icy outdoors and snow has fallen, many elderly choose not to venture outdoors, quite rightly, as they fear of falling or getting too cold. It’s times like this when it’s vital that the elderly are checked on to make sure they are okay in their homes, especially if they live alone. For long periods of cold weather elderly residents might run low on food supplies if they have been stuck indoors and they might also require some interaction if they haven’t been able to get out and about.
It’s particularly important to look in on the elderly during the freezing weather to make sure they are warm. It’s a common story that many elderly people simply can’t afford to put the heating on so will just layer up to keep warm. This is really dangerous as many elderly people are more vulnerable to colder conditions.
We suggest that if you have elderly loved ones or neighbours to just check in now and again to make sure they are doing okay and they are keeping warm enough and have all the supplies they need. Perhaps if they are too scared to go outside, offer them a lift to the supermarket or to the local shop, or just let them know if they need anything that you can help. Our elderly generation would likely really appreciate this kind of helping hand.
Depression in Elderly ‘one of greatest health challenges’
The final story we’re touching on of the week is that of depression in the elderly is “one of the greatest public health challenges of our time,” leading charities have warned.
The story, which was highlighted in The Herald, provided some staggering facts. According to the article, ‘An estimated 60,000 over-65s will spend Christmas Day alone, an increase of 50 per cent on two years ago, while 80,000 say they feel especially lonely over the festive period.’
Depression can be caused by many factors, these include living alone and having little social interaction, a recent bereavement, financial worry, relationship struggles, health issues and so forth. More often than not social isolation is one of the biggest causes of depression in the elderly. 16% of elderly who suffer with depression go on to suffer with anxiety too.
The charities who have highlighted the issues have said more needs to be done. Plans include to introduce more day centre activities, home visits, befriending services and screenings for elderly people, in order to defeat depression.