Post No13…6 Reasons Why Preventing Falls is so Important for the Elderly

Post No13…6 Reasons Why Preventing Falls is so Important for the Elderly
Photo by Marko Blažević / Unsplash


When speaking with families about reasons they are considering a care package, there is a very high percentage of them speaking about falls. A very severe fall can cause breakages or fractures, leading to an extended stay in hospital which can be detrimental both physically and mentally.

Equally, repeated ‘smaller falls’ or trips might not be as physically damaging, but can cause anxiety about mobilising due to fear of falling. Neither of these are good for older people.

This post provides an overview of six ways falls can have a serious impact on older people, and they are all linked…

Physical Injury

Falls can lead to injuries that can be very painful. Hips, shoulders, wrists, ribs and head injuries can all be the result of a severe fall. A fall of this nature will lead to a hospital admission and potentially a lot of time in a bed, increasing the risk of muscle wastage. In turn, this can have an huge impact on a person’s mobility.

Convalescent care packages are often sought after a person has had a bad fall, which can either be found in a care home (also know as respite care) or domiciliary based. This is usually a good idea, helping a person to recovery not only physically but also mentally from the experience. Of course, there are also times when a fall of this nature leads to a long-term placement in a care home, due to concerns about a person’s safety.

Did you know? Restricted mobility can be a tipping point for a person requiring nursing care rather than residential care.

Loss of Confidence

Although physical injuries are more painful, they may not be as damaging in the long term as a person losing their confidence when walking. This ‘injury’ of course cannot be seen, but the recovery from a fall is crucially linked to a person also recovering their confidence.

By choosing not to mobilise due to fear of falling, a person could soon need additional support at home, or may even need to move into a care home if they become immobile. Sometimes, its not the physical damage that causes a person to become immobile, but a slower decline over time as the person moves around less and less.


Picture this, it’s a hot day and staying hydrated is extremely important, but you don’t want to drink because you don’t want to get up to use the loo….

This is not an uncommon issue for people who are afraid of falling, and without support the person could easily become dehydrated. As we age, our sense of thirst begins to diminish, but with the added complexity of being afraid of falling this risk is intensified. Dehydration has many, many implications both physically but also cognitively, and can lead to infection.

UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infection)

UTI’s can be linked to dehydration which can sometimes be linked to the fear of falling. If a person has dementia, the experience of a fall and a trip to hospital can cause delirium, which can sometimes be very severe. This can cause a huge concern for families, not only has the person had a fall but they have also taken a step back in their cognition, making it difficult to assess the person’s ability to recover.

In addition, a UTI, like dehydration, can in themselves be reasons that people fall. In a strange way its like a circle…if a person loses their confidence and doesn’t want to drink / use the toilet, then through being dehydrated or through a UTI they may increase their risk of falling.

It sounds simple, but staying hydrated is so important…

Top Tip - check out The Fall Circle infographic below, or click here

Cognitive Decline

Prolonged hospital stays, delirium, dehydration and UTI’s can all have a huge impact on a person’s cognition, as can the fall itself and the potential loss of confidence. If a person has dementia, this can have more serious affects of their cognition and their ability to recover, and often families report a decrease in mental capacity either temporarily or longer term.


Through the pandemic we have all realised how isolation can have an impact on our mental wellbeing, no matter what age we are. To put it simply, if a person is afraid of falling, they may stop wanted to go out and they may stop seeing people as often, which is not a good thing. Low mood, loss of stimulus, and a possible increase in cognitive decline are all linked to isolation and isolation is linked to falls, so it’s really important to keep the person stimulated and engaged as they recover.


The impact of falls is both far reaching and long lasting, and can be a big part of the reason a person becomes unable to live independently at home. If someone has a fall, please do everything you can to help them in both their physical but also their mental recovery, as it is often this that stays with the person for longer.

The Care Whisperer says 'If a person falls, make sure they are supported both mentally and physically whilst they recover'

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