Christmas is an important time to help protect vulnerable people from the risk of falls, the Care Inspectorate has said.

Inspectors are encouraging everyone who spends time with a loved one in a care setting this Christmas to be on the look out for potential fall hazards.

The Care Inspectorate recently launched a drive to improve the way care homes across Scotland protect residents from the danger of falls.  

The social care scrutiny and improvement body says that while the majority of care homes for older people perform well, more needs to be done to prevent falls, and also to support vulnerable people who have experienced a fall. 

Older people in care homes are three times more likely to fall than older people who live in their own home. The rate of emergency admissions to hospital as a result of a fall is also almost four times higher among care home residents than older people living in their own homes. 

Earlier this year the Care Inspectorate launched a new good practice resource full of information on how best to prevent and manage falls. It will be distributed to every care home in Scotland and help them minimise the risk of falls, and better support people who do experience a fall. 

Karen Reid, the Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate added: “While managing and minimising the risk of falls, and supporting and caring for people who have experienced a fall is a job for professional care staff, everyone has a part to play in minimising the risks posed to vulnerable people in care homes from trips, stumbles and falls. 

“With people spending time with their loved ones in care settings across Scotland this Christmas, it’s a good time to remember ways to minimise the risk of a fall, often through simply keeping an eye-out for potential hazards. 

“We know that the majority of care homes in Scotland provide safe, compassionate care and it’s our job to help all care services improve the standard of care they provide. 

“Falls are a contributory factor for many people moving into a care home, but staff there can play a really important role in helping older people to stay active safely. 

“Many falls are minor, but any fall can be really traumatic for older people and their loved ones – especially if that causes a fracture or the person needs to go to hospital. 

“We expect care homes to better minimise risk and support people who experience a fall. 

“Our resource will help all care homes think about the ways they can minimise the risk of falls and provide better care and support to residents and help reduce health and social inequalities for older people.”

The resource is available here: http://cinsp.in/fallsandfractures