Saturday 22 January 2022

Dramatic rise in fall-related deaths among the elderly

Pensioners on a bench

Fatalities among elderly people as a result of a fall are rising dramatically, according to figures from national statistics office CBS.

In 2015 3,267 people over the age of 65 died after a fall, compared with 2,117 in 2010. Experts say the number will rise by another 77% by 2030, Trouw reported on Monday.

Increased longevity is not the only cause for the increase in fall-related deaths, experts say. The fact that the elderly live independently for a longer period of time is another factor, although that is not fully reflected in the figures yet.

‘Other causes for falls include illnesses such as pneumonia or bladder infections, medication, such as sleeping pills, anti depressants or blood pressure pills. Getting up might suddenly not be so easy,’ Nathalie van der Velde, head of geriatrics at Amsterdam’s AMC teaching hospital told the paper.

Active

The over-65s ‘also like to remain active and tend to overestimate what they can still do. They think their elderly neighbour might fall but not them,’ she said.

According to pensioners lobby group Anbo over a third of people between 65 and 80 fell at least once in the last two years. More than a quarter needed a family doctor, a local first aid station or had to be admitted to hospital.

Accident prevention association Veiligheid NL puts the figure for health care costs related to falls at €810m in 2014. This is expected to rise to €1.3bn in 2030.

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