Background In Finland, more than 900 older people 65+ died due the fall in 2012. In addition, a fall was contributing factor of death of 770 persons 70 years and older. In 2012, costs of hospital inpatient care due to falls were close to EUR 400 million (THL injury database 2014).
Description of the problem Falls prevention has become extremely timely along with Finnish ageing policy prioritising older people living at their own home as long as possible. Despite vast quantity of evidence about falls prevention, the actions to put them in practice have not been as systematic and widespread as possible. Falls prevention needs to be an integral part of care and services for older people at all levels of care and among all service providers.
Results National program, called IKINÄ, was launched in 2006 to enhance dissemination and implementation of sustainable falls prevention in Finland. Aim of the program is to provide knowledge and stress the importance of falls prevention to policy-makers and other executive authorities in national level as well as municipalities. To enhance implementation of falls prevention IKINÄ-program produces evidence-based tools and materials for professionals and organisations working with older people.
During past ten years awareness of falls, their consequences and need for falls prevention have increased among professionals, both at executive level and those working in clinical practice, in the field of older people care and services in Finland. For example, several social and health care organisations have set the reduction of falls and fall injuries as their strategic goals. Thus, implementation of evidence-based falls prevention has become more systematic.
Conclusions Falls prevention requires to be continuous work and a joint effort of professionals working at all levels of care system of older people services. Sufficient resources should be allocated for falls prevention to ensure safe living at home for older people.
- Accidental falls
- falls prevention
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