If you had a fall, would you rather be treated at home or in hospital?
According to this recent BBC Breakfast feature, the Northwest Ambulance service says falls (most commonly amongst the elderly) is one of the top 5 call-out reasons they receive every day, with 70% of these ending in a hospital admission.
The film shows the 'Falls Team' which includes a paramedic and an Occupational Therapist attending 999 calls where an elderly person has fallen. An assessment is made in the person's home with some simple changes made to allow them to stay living independently at home. The scheme has already saved the NHS £27k.
One of the main points to come out of the piece is how much patients themselves would rather not go to hospital after a fall - something we regularly hear when we're out and about in the community, talking to people about Lifeline. Evidence shows that patients with dementia can deteriorate upon admission, with other problems such as disrupted sleep, disorientation, fear etc.
With hospital waiting times too long, and demand for beds too high, it's not just in the patient's interests to be treated after a fall at home. The film concludes 'Better for the patient, better for over-stretched hospitals'.
Why is a Lifeline alarm so important in this debate?
A Lifeline telecare alarm is a hugely effective means of keeping people safe and independent in their own home - particularly in areas where there isn't a dedicated 'falls team' despatched with an ambulance. Here's why:
1. If someone cannot get to a phone to make the 999 call following a fall, they can press their pendant 24 hrs a day - from anywhere in their home - as the alarm is on their person.
2. Elderly people can be frightened of going in to hospital. Some fear that if they do, it's the 'start of the end' and they may never come out. With a Lifeline alarm, if it is pressed following a fall, a registered contact (importantly, a familiar face!) can be informed to attend the person, help them up, and then decide thereafter the best course of action.
We are committed to supporting people to live independently and safely at home - and in doing so, relieving pressure on the NHS and over-stretched hospitals. Perhaps most importantly of all however, is helping the elderly patient stay in their own home - with familiar surroundings, and where they are happiest and most at peace!