OTalk

13th April 2021 – Let’s #OTalk about Falls

This week #OTalk will be hosted by Mangar @MangarInt

The chat will also be supported by Paul Watts @apaulwatts, Clare Birt @ClareBirt, Andrew Macphail @andrrewmacphail and Dan Colclough @ColcloughDaniel. having a wealth of experience in different markets segments, allowing any questions to be answered promptly and effectively. Note these are for support and input into the chat and the main chat questions will be via the Mangar account @MangarInt

If you search ‘falls in the elderly’ on the internet, most of the information you will find is associated with identifying intrinsic and extrinsic causes and methods of fall prevention.  In reality, however much we concentrate of investigating causes and putting the associated fall prevention methods in place, people will still fall.

More than 10% of all ambulance call outs are to the elderly who have fallen and around 50% (Welsh Ambulance Service Trust) need conveying to hospital.  But 50% just need moving back to a seat or helping to their feet.

So why are there not more conversations around post fall care?  We all know how vital it is to get someone up again after a fall.  A ‘long lie’ (usually described as an hour or more), can have a greater impact on the health of the fallen person than the fall itself.

The psychology around the ‘fear of falling’ is also interesting to track.  We know people become less active because they are scared of falling again, leading to an ever decreasing circle of activity, resulting in significant muscle weakness.

We also know it’s often the carers that suffer the greatest impact, picking up musculoskeletal injuries as they try and help their loved one back to their feet.

It is great to see some pilot projects where OTs and Paramedics have joined forces to properly examine the right way to treat a very common problem. Specialist teams working together to find patient centred solutions, must be the right way for both improved patient care and efficient spending of NHS budgets.

Questions

  1. Is calling an ambulance always the right thing to do after a fall?
  2. How reliant are we on carers or loved ones to lift the people they care for after a fall? 
  3. Is there enough emphasis on post fall care?
  4. What falls service collaborations are we aware of and are partnerships between paramedics and OTs the way forward?
  5. What tools/technology can be used to give Cares confidence in their decision to perform a lift?

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