A step is a step too far for many older people. Well it can be when it is a step up or a step down. Stumbles, tumbles and falls are an everyday hazard of later life.
It is not often the drink that does it, it is more likely to be the rug on the floor that you trip over. Or the flip flop, flip-flops that make you flop. Or the step without a handy handrail. Or the bad lighting. Or just bad eyesight. Or a shuffling gate. Or carrying a tray that obscures your view. Or a wet bathroom floor. Or a moment of inattention. A distraction that leads to an accidental path you never intended to take, off to A&E !
The Homes for Later Living Consortium published a report recently that suggested that over a million older people will visit hospital after a fall. In fact the number is growing and by 2032 it is expected to be 2.5 million at a cost to the NHS of £2billion a year.
The Centre for Ageing Better found that making small changes can make homes much safer for older people. Simple aides and adaptations, like grab rails and ramps, can reduce the incidence of falls. 90% of retired people live and want to remain in their own home, so adapting the houses should be the first step to making life safer.
A handrail is much cheaper than a hip operation !