Falls and accidents suffered by elderly people in their homes is an increasing problem as more people live alone, according to the manager of an Angus charity.
A survey conducted by Angus Care and Repair among its clients aged over 75 found that 42% of them suffered a fall in their home during the previous 12 months.
The charity carries out essential repairs, home adaptations and safety checks for people to help them live independently.
“As part of our home safety check we ask the person if they have had any falls or trips in the previous year to try to get an understanding of the number of people who are at risk of falling,” said manager Judith Leslie.
“Of the over-75-year-olds surveyed, 42% had experienced a fall in the previous year and a quarter of those people had to stay in hospital as a result of the fall.
“Falls and home safety continue to be an increasing problem as the population gets older and is costing people a loss of confidence, mobility and their independence as well as huge sums of money within social care and NHS.
“As part of the active third-sector collaborative we are sure that our work and partnerships formed reduce the number of acute and unplanned admissions caused by falls and trips in and around the home.”
Last year the group completed 139 major home adaptations, which were supported by grant funding of £378,000 and £100,000 client contributions.
Angus Care and Repair also carried out 2,000 minor adaptations, 263 home safety checks and 81 follow-up checks.
Meanwhile, Gary Malone, chief executive of Voluntary Action Angus, said there had been a “significant” increase in the support given to elderly and vulnerable people in the last year by the voluntary sector in Angus.
He said that without this support there was a risk of elderly people feeling excluded from society. He added that partnership working in the third sector in Angus was seeing positive results.
A new group, Care About Angus, which started in October, will deliver home-based services to 250 elderly people.
Mr Malone, who is also a director for Care About Angus, said: “Over the last year we have seen a significant increase in the numbers of befriending and volunteer driving support given to elderly and vulnerable people.
“Without this people may become more isolated and excluded and less likely to access services.
“At this time of year we rely on voluntary and third-sector efforts to support the elderly and vulnerable cope with the hardship of winter.”