A charity has warned that the impact of falling over can be life-changing for an older person, causing them to feel isolated and reluctant to leave home.
Charity director general Michelle Mitchell said:
With the older population projected to rise by nearly 50% in the next 20 years, the number of people over 60 experiencing falls to the extent where they are receiving hospital treatment is a real concern.
Falls in later life are often dismissed as an inevitable part of growing older, however the reality is that there is something we can all do prevent a fall and increase our chances of living a healthy and independent life for as long as possible.
Prevention is better than cure and more should be done to support and promote this.
Around 350,000 people over the age of of 60 are treated in hospital because they have fallen over, a charity has warned.
It is a "real concern" the number of elderly people who are admitted to hospital in England from the result of a fall, Age UK said.
The charity, which launches its Falls Awareness Week today, said around 9,000 older people die every year because they have fallen.
It added that falling over is one of the leading causes of death for over-75s.
- Over half of all older people considering the TV as their main form of company.
- Over 3.5 million (35%) people aged 65+ are concerned about staying warm at home.
- Over 2 million (21%) state they are worried about not being able to get out and about as much.
- 4.5 million (43%) people aged 65+ are concerned about falling over on slippery pavements.
This winter as many as 25,000 older people could die needlessly because of the cold. Age UK have found that is about 200 preventable deaths a day.
During the winter, isolation can intensify having an adverse effect on physical and mental well-being and some studies prove that feelings of loneliness can this can be equivalent to well-established risk factors such as obesity and smoking.
The colder weather brings with it a massive increase in associated health problems for older people including heart attacks and strokes, respiratory problems, pneumonia and depression.
Pensioners are increasingly worried about being isolated this winter, especially as 7% of all +65's don't know their neighbours.
The top reasons holding older people back from knowing their neighbours are not wanting to be a burden and thinking that their neighbours always seem to be bus.
Over 700,000 of people aged 65 or over in the UK say they are always or often lonely, Age UK have said.
There are now more people in the UK aged 60 and above than there are under 18.
17% of older people have less than weekly contact with family, friends or neighbours.
36% of people aged 65 and over in the UK feel out of touch with the pace of modern life and 9% say they feel cut off from society/
About 3.8 million older people live alone. 1.5 million are women.
3.5 million people aged 65+ in the UK are not getting any help, support or companionship from neighbours, according to new research from Age UK.
Over 700,000 admit they don't know their neighbours and claim the top reason is they don't want to be a burden or feel their neighbours are too busy.
Older people are more vulnerable to serious health problems during colder weather particularly heart attacks and strokes, respiratory problems, pneumonia and depression.
More than a third of older people are suffering from loneliness, two leading charities have said.Read the full story ›
Charity Director-General for Age UK, Michelle Mitchell, has told Daybreak that there are massive benefits of younger and older people getting together and sharing experience and skills.