Old people in South Wiltshire get drunk and fall over
Wiltshire Council has published a Falls and Bone Health strategy which seeks to minimise the harm caused by falls and bone diseases amongst older people. Falling is an increasing problem, with an average of seven emergency hospital admissions per day in the county. Up to one in three over-65s will fall in the course of a year, and apart from the direct injuries falls can lead to other physical or psychological problems.
In 2010/11 hip fractures sustained by Wiltshire residents cost £3.2million in hospital costs, so as well as reducing the pain and misery caused by falls the strategy aims to reduce financial costs to the NHS.
Figures released by the council show a dramatic difference in the number of falls in different parts of the county, with Salisbury people twice as likely to be hospitalised after a fall as Pewsey people. In fact the four worst areas are all in the south - Salisbury, Tisbury, Wilton and Amesbury. Apart from Pewsey the 'best' areas are Calne, Corsham and Trowbridge.
According to the Public Health cabinet member Keith Humphries the figures for falls amongst the over 65s in the different community areas show a close correlation with those for alcohol consumption.