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For hospitals and aged care facilities - Stay On Your Feet

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For hospitals and residential aged care facilities

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Nationally, falls are among the most serious preventable injury problems facing older Australians today. Falls related injury is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in older Australians. Australia's ageing population makes falls a significant issue, with an estimated 15% of the Australian population aged over 65 years by 2014.

Facts on falls and hospitalisation

  • Falls are the leading cause of injury related hospitalisations among people aged 65 years and over, representing 75% of total hospitalisations in this age group. During 2007-08, there were 13,028 hospitalisations (people over 65 years entering public and private hospitals) due to falls. This equates to 2,548 per 100,000 people.
  • There is a trend towards increasing rates of hospitalisation with age, with more females hospitalised.
  • During 2007-08, approximately $106 million was spent on patients admitted due to falls. Hip fractures accounted for around 50% of these costs. The cost of hospitalisations due to falls related injuries among people aged 65 years or over is projected to double by the year 2015 to over $220 million.

Facts on falls in residential aged care facilities

  • Falls, along with cognitive impairment and incontinence, are one of the major factors in causing admission to a residential aged care facility.
  • Residents living in aged care facilities experience nearly five times more falls than people of the same age in their own home. In 2005-06, 21% of serious falls occurred in residential aged care facilities. The peak age for falls among residents is 85 to 89 years.
  • Where residents are admitted to hospital due to a fall, 80% do not go home as opposed to 4.5% of other admissions.

Queensland Health falls injury prevention program

Queensland Health's Falls Injury Prevention Program for hospitals and residential aged care facilities is coordinated through the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Service and is headed by a Statewide Program Coordinator. Queensland Health's Falls Injury Prevention Program works with Health Service Districts, Patient Safety Officers, health professionals (including GPs and occupational therapists) and the community to reduce falls and harm from falls. The Program is based on strategies in the national falls prevention guidelines and Queensland Stay On Your Feet® resources.

Program priorities include:

How Queensland Stay On Your Feet® can help

Queensland Stay On Your Feet® offers support and resources to help local hospitals, residential aged care facilities and community care develop policies and procedures to cater for their patient's needs across the health continuum.

book reference image For more information, contact the Clinical Excellence Division.

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Last updated: 13 July 2022