Falls in and around the home should be one of the top concerns for housing associations and registered social landlords this winter, leading accident prevention charity The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has said.
The warning comes in the wake of cold weather and ahead of the festive season, the perfect storm for the struggling NHS. The UK saw 7,229 patients admitted to hospital with a hip fracture last December alone, with figures up 20 per cent on the year before.
Studies suggest that people on lower incomes, including tenants in social housing, are more likely to suffer poor health and consequently are at greater risk of falling. On average, people aged 65 have a one in three chance of falling each year, and by the time they reach 80, the probability increases to 50 per cent.
Last year, RoSPA ran a pioneering project with Trent & Dove Housing to prevent the incidence of avoidable falls among housing associations tenants, with a total reduction of over 69 per cent. This was achieved through educational sessions for customers, staff and community groups, and home visits to help people identify and address hazards.
Steve Cole, Director of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs, said: “Falls are the second leading cause of accidental deaths globally and primarily occur at home. People with lower incomes, especially social housing tenants, are particular at risk and face higher health risks in general.”
“As social purpose organisations giving homes to over four million households, housing associations are ideally placed to protect their residents and save lives. Trent & Dove has shown the difference the sector can make by taking simple steps and we encourage others to follow their example by using RoSPA’s Fall Fighter material to help and educate tenants.”
RoSPA is creating a version of Fall Fighter specific to the housing sector, for feedback on what providers would find most helpful, or to sponsor the project, please contact Jules Robinson, RoSPA’s Fall Prevention Lead: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read about RoSPA and Trent & Dove’s pilot fall prevention project, please see here.
To download RoSPA’s original Fall Fighter material, please see here.