Problem of falls amongst the elderly to be addressed as part of public information talk by Tallaght Hospital experts

- Free talk to examine how older people can better manage their health
- Experts to raise awareness of the risk of falls and provide life savings tips to prevent slips and falls
- Talk part of joint DMHG-Tallaght Hospital “Are you Winter Ready?” initiative

(February 14th 2018) Experts from Tallaght Hospital will help local older people, their families and carers to better manage their health next week at a public health talk on February 27 from 3pm-4pm in the Trustus Day Centre in Whitestown Way, Tallaght. The talk is open to the public and is the second in a Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG) -Tallaght Hospital “Winter Ready” campaign.

The campaign recognises that winter is the time when many people, particularly those in at risk categories, such as those over 65, become ill from viruses and infections, but are also vulnerable to other health risks such as falls.

Those 65 and older, in particular, face serious risks for falls and complications as a result of those falls. According to the latest Major Trauma Audit National Report*, 40% of all significant trauma is sustained by those over 65.

While forty-seven percent (47%) of patients who were treated for major trauma nationally were injured in the home – 72% of these patients suffered a ‘low fall’.

‘Low falls’ (a fall of less than 2 metres) were the leading cause of injury for 1 in 2 (51%) of all major trauma patients and 77% of patients age 65 and older.

Each year, approximately 250 older people die from falls in Ireland. In order to combat this issue, Tallaght Hospital experts will offer advice on how to prevent falls before they happen. The speakers will include:

 Dr. Paul McElwaine, Consultant Geriatrician;
 Lorraine Holden, Acting Falls Clinical Nurse Specialist; and
 Fiona Tobin, Senior Occupational Therapist.

There are three main risk factors for those who are over the age of 65. Internal risk factors, such as hearing loss, visual loss, and higher blood pressure, are all factors that need to be considered. Older people must also consider external factors in order to stay safe. These external factors can include taking the proper dosage of medication and stopping treatment when it no longer becomes necessary. Environmental factors, such as lighting and footwear, are simple things to consider that can have significant impacts also in reducing falls.

Tallaght Hospital experts will talk about these risk factors, how to reduce and manage them better to keep safe. They will also offer practical and implementable advice that can help seniors make simple changes that have life-saving consequences.

Commenting on the upcoming talk, DMHG CEO Trevor O’Callaghan, noted: “It is never too late to take control of your health. There is an ever-present risk of falling especially for older people; however, it is not inevitable and can be avoided. By coming to the talk and listening the Tallaght Hospital team, we hope people will learn how to assess their risk factors for falls, what to do if they fall and advice on how to prevent a fall in the first place.

“We want to encourage everyone to better manage their health and stay healthy in the first instance and thereafter, be informed of the health services available in their communities, how to access them, and where, depending on their condition, is most appropriate for them. “

Dr. Paul McElwaine one of the three speakers at the talk also noted: “At Tallaght Hospital we recognise the importance of empowering our community to lead healthier lives. People need to be supported in doing this by having access to health information to achieve this objective and also knowing where to go if they require health services, whether in the community or in our Hospital.

“A key way to staying healthy is through education and supporting people to make healthy choices. We are confident that through engaging in a discussion like this public health talk we can help reduce injuries related to falls.”

The talk is free and open to all members of the public.


Note to editors:

About Dublin Midlands Hospital Group
The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group comprises seven hospitals: St James’s Hospital, Coombe Women’s and Infants University Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, St Luke's Oncology Radiation Network, Naas General Hospital, Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise and Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore. Encompassing the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Laois and Offaly, the DMHG has a catchment population of 800,000, with over 11,000 staff.

About Tallaght Hospital
Tallaght Hospital is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 495 adult beds and 67 paediatric bed with 2,600 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre.

Tallaght Hospital is one of the two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. Tallaght University Hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.

A new satellite centre is to be built at Tallaght Hospital as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.

The Hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 50,286 Adult Attendances and 32,886 Paediatric Attendances in 2017. A further 291,483 patients were treated through the Hospital’s adult and paediatric outpatient clinics in 2017. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities.