Initial results from a new research project suggests that older people are more likely to fall over and hurt themselves in the summer months than during the winter. Granted that the research only examined hospital admissions after people had broken their hips, but this seems to fly in the face of received wisdom that older people are tumbling like 9 pins in the winter snows because of slippery pavements or reduced visibility.
Also we have to bear in mind that this research was conducted in Connecticut. Maybe there’s something in the Spring air that gets the old folk up and running in New England after the Winter hibernation. All that rushing around and excitement once the snows have melted will surely have them falling over their own feet after so many months’ disuse.
Older people seem to be at greatest risk during the month of May. After the May madness they quieten down a bit until September and October when there’s another uptick. Tripping over solid objects appears to be a problem. Other problems include falling out of bed.
Surely it’s about time a similiar study was carried out in the UK, where the over 65’s falling over account for 10% of all ambulance call-outs. If you are over 80 apparently you have a 50% chance of hospitalision after a fall. 50% of what and over what period of time is another matter. After all you can’t trust statistics.
So, yes, it’s more than likely that more people including retired folk should hurt themselves in the summer months. Like anyone else, we like to get out and about once the sun starts shining and the warmer weather comes. And if there’s snow on the ground we don’t go out so often because we don’t have to go out to go to work or whatever. We’re not that stupid.
As to why more people should hurt themselves falling out of bed is another matter altogether – best left to your imagination.
All in all this research just shows that older people aren’t that much different from anyone else. Time to stop treating retired folk as victims or a problem. We just want to be as active as anyone else. Just don’t get in our way!
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