One in four older people have fallen at home – and a quarter of them have kept this secret from family and friends
- New research from Connected Care Platform Anthropos found 24% of respondents have suffered a fall in their own home.
- What’s more, 26% of those people did not tell their loved ones what had happened.
- This means an approximate 2.6 million people* fall each year, with 686 thousand of them not disclosing the important care concern.
- 29% of respondents have hidden their need for any type of care support from loved ones.
London, UK – November 28, 2022
According to a study of 2,000 people aged 65 and above, a quarter (24%) of older people have fallen at home. The research, commissioned by the Connected Care Platform provider, Anthropos, and carried out by OnePoll, found that 26% of those who had fallen did not tell friends, family or carers what had happened.
Nearly a quarter of those who have fallen said it was due to reduced mobility, with joint pain (13%) and objects on the floor (11%) being the next two top contributors to accidents.
A government report recently revealed the annual cost of fragility fractures, those following lower force falls, is estimated to be £4.4 billion. Every year there are over 22,000 emergency hospital admissions resulting from falls among people over the age of 65, according to Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF).
The research found that almost a third (29%) of over-65s have hidden their need for any type of care support from loved ones. Concealing care concerns isn’t just limited to falls; the other most common issues are reduced mobility, changes in toilet habits and forgetfulness, with others including sleeping difficulties and loss of balance.
When respondents were asked why they hid their concerns, 26% stated they believe they can deal with any care issue themselves, while 16% don’t want to be labelled ‘vulnerable’, and 18% don’t want to acknowledge they’re getting older. The Anthropos study also uncovered that 39% admitted they would keep their feelings a secret from loved ones to avoid burdening them.
Despite this, a fifth of people who have hidden their concerns admitted loved ones had realised what they were doing. Of this group, 83% said they felt a weight had been lifted off their shoulders after telling their close family members their secret.
Commenting on the findings, Jim Patience, CEO of Anthropos, said:
“It is extremely worrying that a quarter of people aged 65 and over are experiencing falls and over a quarter of them don’t tell a loved one or carer.
“Considering there are 11 million people aged 65 and over, the research really brings home just how widespread these issues are. If we extrapolated these numbers across the whole of the UK, it could indicate that every year around 2.6 million people fall, with 686,000 people not telling anyone about it.
“It fits into the wider pattern we’ve found that so many older people are hiding care concerns. We hope adults of all ages consider how these findings may support gentle, sensitive conversations with the older people in their lives about all care matters, from falls to forgetfulness.
“Connected Care Platforms can help by first building a picture of older people’s daily routines, and by spotting any meaningful changes that could point towards the need for extra support. All without being intrusive or using cameras or microphones. When that insight is shared with families and carers, it can empower both older people and their families to act fast and make better informed care decisions.”
The research supports Anthropos’ commitment to strengthening its capabilities in passive falls detection.
Earlier this year, the company partnered with Vayyar Care, the global leader in 4D imaging, to bolster its falls detection offering. Vayyar Care’s touchless radio frequency sensing technology was added to their Connected Care Platform, enabling Anthropos customers to have falls detected without the use of wearable devices. This allows the person to be cared for without having to disclose concerns, and reduces the risk of injury as the sensors gather data on falls and behavioural risk factors such as decreasing mobility, enabling true fall prevention.
For more information, please visit: https://anthropos.io
*Sum calculated by:
- The group is representative of the 11 million total adults in the UK over 65
- Of which 24% have fallen, meaning 2,640,000 people
- 26% of this group have not told loved ones or carers about this care concern, meaning that in society, of the 2,640,000 people over 65’s who have fallen, 686,400 have concealed it.
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Anthropos has a Connected Care Platform that enables intelligent remote monitoring, transforming the care of older people in their homes by providing trustworthy intelligence that supports the delivery of better-informed care decisions and provides reassurance for families. Discover more: https://anthropos.io/