Older Australians are being admitted to hospital for falls injuries at an increasing rate, according to a report from the Australian Institutet for Health and Welfare (AIHW).
Almost 67,000 people aged 65 and over – or one in 40 – were hospitalised due to falls in 2005-06, which was a 10 per cent increase on 2003-04 figures.
This was despite a declining rate of hip fractures among the older population.
Almost two thirds of people who were hospitalised following a fall had at least one broken bone.
The fall rate for people aged 75 and over increased significantly to 1 in 25 people.
The study found that aged care residents were five times more likely to be hospitalised for falls than people of the same age living in the community.
“This is because people in aged care facilities tend to have much higher care needs and are more likely to be frail,” said Clare Bradley from the institute’s National Injury Surveillance Unit.
Older women accounted for the majority of hospitalised fall cases.
“The most common type of fall that results in hospitalisation is a fall on the same level, from slipping, tripping or stumbling,” Ms Bradley said.
“Half of all fall injury cases for people aged 65 years and older occurred in the home, but falls in residential institutions were also common,” she said.