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40% of elderly in care suffer falls

The highest risk group of elderly people most likely to suffer a fall are those living in residential or nursing care homes, a study has concluded.

Of those people living in a care home, more than two-fifths had suffered a fall within a year, research conducted by the University of Derby found.

The study, which covered more than 3,700 vulnerable people living in Gloucestershire, showed that 42% had fallen at least once in a 12-month period.

A total of 1,077 elderly people had suffered multiple falls, according to the research completed by the University of Derby's osteoporosis experts in collaboration with Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust.

Dr Jonathan Bayly, a visiting fellow at the University of Derby, said he believed the study mirrored events in the rest of the country.

Dr Bayly said the research highlighted many residents were not being prescribed calcium and vitamin D, a treatment that can improve bone and muscle strength, and co-ordination, preventing falls and hip fractures.

And he added, "4.5% of the UK population over age 65 live in residential care, yet 20% of the people who suffer a fracture from a fall come from this setting, making them the highest risk group of patients when it comes to falls".

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