Elderly fear falls31st October 2012
A charity survey has found that many elderly people stay at home because they are frightened that if they go outside they could fall down.
The 500 people interviewed by the Women's Voluntary Service charity were aged 75 or above.
The survey showed a fifth of the respondents were afraid of falling and 5% were so worried that they would not go outside without having another person with them.
The charity said 25% of respondents mentioned bad street lighting or uneven pavements contributed to their lack of confidence in going outside.
One third said they had fallen recently and a fifth of those who fell said it made them feel less confident.
Nearly 750,000 people aged over 60 go to A&E because of a fall and one third of this number are admitted to hospital due to their injuries.
There were 3,593 deaths caused by falls in 2009 in England and Wales.
David McCullough, chief executive of the WRVS, said: "These are bleak findings. With winter approaching, older people have little confidence to get out and about because they fear they will fall and, as this research shows, the psychological effects of worrying about a fall can be as debilitating and devastating as physical injuries."
Michelle Mitchell, of the charity Age UK, said: "At their worst falls can be the cause of death, but falls are not an inevitable part of ageing - many falls can be prevented and there is much that can be done to help people who have fallen not to fall again."
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