40,000 falls end in hospital in Sheffield

Ellis Rippon, 100, and Jo Burton
Ellis Rippon, 100, and Jo Burton
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Almost 40,000 older people ended up in hospital in Sheffield last year after falling, new figures show.

Charity Age Concern UK said the three most common types of fall for people aged over 50 were stumbling, tripping while getting out of bed, and slipping on ice and snow.

One such patient is Ellis Rippon, now aged 100, who still lives at home in Crosspool but suffered falls five times in 12 months.

That was before he completed a programme to prevent falls, and resulting admissions to hospital, shortly before his centenary in June.

Ellis worked with at the staff Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre in Nether Edge to improve his walking - and has not fallen since.

Physiotherapist Jo Burton said: “Ellis has not fallen since he started the programme, and his confidence has greatly improved.”

The centre is part of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Age Concern UK highlighted the figures to promote its falls awareness Week and to raise awareness of the things people can do to maintain their independence by reducing the chances of a fall in later life.

“More than 9,000 older people in the UK die every year as the result of a fall,” said Rosalind Eve, the chief executive for Age UK Sheffield.

“For others, the injuries and impact of a fall can be life-changing, leaving people feeling isolated, anxious and reluctant to leave home.

“Our mission is to protect the independence of older people in Sheffield by giving them the tools and information they need to get out and about.”

Tips to prevent falls include looking after your feet, having an eye test to protect eyesight and balance, and joining a community exercise class to build up core strength and stability.

Age Concern also offers a ‘travel buddy’ service to help people get out safely, and Sheffield’s Therapy Falls Prevention Service provides home visits and walking aids.