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Assessing the Impact of Falls in UK Care Home

Sensio Dec 6, 2023 12:21:17 PM
Participants in the RoomMate webinar discussing how to prevent falls in UK Care homes.

Explore the urgent need for innovative solutions in falls prevention in UK care homes. Discover how digital technology, such as Sensio's RoomMate, is revolutionizing elderly care and improving the lives of residents. Read more and watch the webinar below.

Imagine a world where elderly falls are not just managed but prevented.

In the UK, falls in care settings are a major concern, with a staggering 14,000 deaths annually attributed to fall-related hip fractures and a £4 billion strain on the health service due to 2 million ‘bed days’ in hospitals that could be reduced by addressing the prevalence of falls.

Our recent webinar sought to explore the urgent need for innovative solutions in falls prevention, a topic thoroughly explored by our guests. We were grateful for to be joined by Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England and Helen Davies Parson, CEO of Dormy Care Communities. From Sensio we had Jon Thue, Chief Commercial Officer and the discussions were guided by Daniel Casson.

At the centre of our conversation was Sensio’s RoomMate, our groundbreaking safety sensor, making an impact in care homes across Scandinavia and now in the UK.

The Critical Issue of Falls in Elderly Care

Professor Martin Green OBE opened the webinar by outlining the scale of the issue at hand, "falls are one of the biggest challenges for the entire sector," before highlighting the 2 million annual hospital bed days attributed to fall-related injuries, resulting in extensive systemic impact, “not only are the costs of this care incredibly high, but the follow on care can be very complex to manage successfully”.

“The personal toll is equally devastating”, added Professor Green, “if people fall, it changes their life. Many people are never the same after a fall, so we need to develop services that are preventative”. With the increasing prevalence of dementia, particularly in those over 85, the challenge intensifies. This oncoming demographic shift, particularly with the ageing Baby Boomer generation, underscores the need for a proactive approach.

Preparing for the future

John Thue of Sensio contributed, "In Norway, we see that Dementia is by far the biggest cost driver in the healthcare system, followed by falls and then stroke. The point being that Dementia is already influencing falls, and will keep increasing faster than the other ones as our population ages". It's clear that innovative, preventive solutions are essential in this landscape. Jon continued, “the more we look at the numbers, the more we are confronted with this issue. Especially when we look at the demographic shift that is oncoming. At Sensio, we have looked at degrees of dementia in different age groups. We see dementia is much higher in groups aged 85 and over, and we are now in the beginning of the wave of Baby Boomers approaching their 80’s, as we approach the 2030’s we will start to see much higher numbers of people living with dementia”.

This will undoubtedly place additional strain on an already overburdened system. RoomMate, with its advanced algorithms and passive monitoring capabilities, exemplifies the type of innovation needed for a problem like this. Unlike traditional fall mats or sensor beams, RoomMate uses sophisticated algorithms to detect and predict falls, seamlessly integrating with existing care systems. It's not merely a safety sensor; it's a catalyst for digital transformation in care settings, empowering care teams with efficiency and providing them more time to care.

Making real impact: A case study from Dormy Care

Helen Davies-Parsons of Dormy Care shared a compelling example encapsulating the issues discussed and how new solutions could bring new answers.

Following the introduction of the RoomMate system in one of her homes, a dementia household of 17 beds saw an average 80% fall reduction. However, Helen and her team noticed a benefit for one particular resident, “Mavis, has lived in our home for many years, her dementia progressing during this period of time. Unfortunately, alongside her dementia, she had also had increasingly frequent falls as time went on.” Helen explained how this had impacted Mavis’ quality of life, “Mavis loves her room, it's her happy place, she has lots of visitors, and this is where she spent most of her time. However, due to her increasing number of falls, which were often in her room and unwitnessed, it meant that her room was a potentially unsafe space for her to be, and so the team would encourage her to spend more time in communal spaces.”

Helen described how this had led Mavis to withdraw into herself, becoming less sociable and more anxious. The team recorded in their documentation that they never quite knew if Mavis had actually fallen, or had placed herself on the floor. Mavis had no obvious injuries and this was a behaviour of hers that had been witnessed in the past, however, without knowing for certain the team had to err on the side of caution. Helen then outlined the almost immediate impact of the RoomMate system, “after introducing Sensio, we could see that Mavis was not in fact falling, but that she was actually lowering herself to the floor as she was uncertain of her surroundings. This meant that staff were able to support Mavis better, so she could be where she wants to be, in her own room.” This was incredibly important for Mavis and the both the quality of her care and her life in our home.

Helen closed the discussion by saying "RoomMate helped us understand and support Mavis in her own space, dramatically improving her care".

Embracing the future of care

As decision-makers in care, we must critically evaluate our current fall prevention strategies. Are they equipped for the challenges of an ageing population and the rise of dementia? RoomMate isn't just a solution for falls; it's a step towards enhancing life quality and operational efficiency in care settings. It's time to embrace technology that not only protects our residents but also supports our care teams in delivering effective, compassionate care.

Get in touch with us to discover how RoomMate can revolutionise your care settings. 

See the full webinar here

Falls have a huge impact on the lives of those living in care. Wouldn't it be amazing if care teams could be in the right place at the right time to prevent, rather than react, to falls? Now they can, with the help of a world leading, revolutionary safety and fall sensor. Watch the full webinar:


Adressing key insights from the webinar

Our recent webinar, "Falls in UK Care Homes - A Guide to Digital Prevention," marked another significant step in our journey towards revolutionising elderly care, as we discussed strategies to reduce falls with key sector leaders. You can read more about the key insights from the webinar here.