Lifeline Connections for the Healthcare Professional – Winter 2016
A Philips Research study shows that the risk of a serious fall is higher than average for seniors living with chronic conditions. Even younger seniors are at risk.
It’s a well-known fact that one in three seniors falls each year, but some segments of the age 65+ cohort fall more often and are more likely to experience a significant injury than others. One such segment is seniors of all ages who are living with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
As 53-year old MS sufferer Lucy D. describes, Lifeline’s peace of mind allows her to get more enjoyment out of life by giving her access to expert help in case of a fall or medical emergency. “Two years ago my MS advanced to secondary progressive and I started to use a cane. As a busy wife and mother of two, I wear my Lifeline every day because it allows me to do the things I want to do on my own and independently. Lifeline isn’t just for seniors and it’s more than a help button. I’m thrilled with the freedom it provides me and many others like me.”
“Lifeline isn’t just for seniors and it’s more than a help button.”
Philips Research recently released a retrospective study of 70,000 falls among 145,000 Lifeline subscribers that revealed a pronounced correlation between chronic conditions, falls risk and which conditions are most likely to result in a serious fall injury. The data show that older adults with chronic conditions fall and require emergency transport to hospital up to 54% more often than those without chronic conditions.
In Canada, adults aged 65+ now account for 16% of the total population and this is projected to rise to more than 22% by 2031. Within the Philips study population, 72% had at least one chronic condition, 68% reported having two or more and 20% stated they had at least five.
The study showed a direct correlation between the number of chronic conditions reported and the frequency of falling. Seniors living with five or more chronic conditions had 40% more falls than those who don’t have any chronic illnesses. Those living with three chronic conditions had 15% more falls that require transport to the hospital.
The study also revealed a correlation between specific chronic conditions and the need for transport to hospital after a fall compared to people with no chronic illnesses.
Emergency transport due to falls was required more often by seniors with these chronic conditions
Chronic disease and other factors a ecting overall health and well-being for adults 65 years and older:
Chronic health conditions can increase falls risk significantly
- 4 in 5 older adults have at least 1 chronic health problem.
- 1 in 3 have activity limitation associated with those conditions.
- Lifeline internal data, January 2012-June 2014.
- Lifeline Systems, Personal Emergency Response Systems Achieve Positive Outcomes, 1993.
- tatsCan population projections, 1971 to 2061.
- StatsCan, Canadian .Community Health Survey, Health indicator pro le, 2014, CANSIM 105-0501.
- Chronic Diseases Related to Aging and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Report of the Standing Committee on Health, 41st Canadian Parliament, May 2012.