500 ACC claims a day for falls

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F_My15_acc-falls.jpgACC says that 500 claims a day for falls underlines importance of campaigns which focus on reducing harm from falls. These claims are from people aged 50 and over. With the numbers increasing dramatically year on year with nearly 190,000 people in the 50-plus age group claiming in 2013 which was 20,000 more than in 2011, falls prevention programmes are increasingly important. There were:

    • 92,301 claims from people aged 50–64
    • 44,140 claims from people aged 65–74
    • 33,142 claims from people aged 75–84
    • 20,103 claims from people aged 85 and over

The claims from people aged 85 and over amounted to 55 a day and represented a quarter of people in that age group. People aged 85 and over were twice as likely to have an ACC claim for a fall as those aged 50 to 64 — and 15 times more likely to be admitted to hospital as a result. Their average length of stay was 14.3 days. Although those aged 85 and over make up 5 percent of the 50-plus age group, they accounted for nearly half of hip fractures relating to a fall. This information illustrates the need for DHBs to look at how well they are connecting across primary and community care, so falls initiatives are well integrated and encompass issues of frailty, fragility and fracture in vulnerable population groups. It underlines the need for a renewed focus on reducing harm from falls.

Older New Zealanders, and especially those aged 85 and over, are particularly vulnerable to falls.

Ann Chapman