Older Australians at greater risk of hospitalisation due to injury

July 22, 2014 | Aged Care Management

Older Australians have a substantially higher chance of being hospitalised after suffering injury than other age groups, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The AIHW is an agency dedicated to researching and providing accurate statistics on Australian health and welfare.

The study found that 126,000 Australians aged between 65 and 69 years of age were admitted to hospital due to injury in 2011-12. This number accounted for over one-quarter of all injury-related hospitalisations.

Professor Harrison, spokesperson for the AIHW, explained that the injury rate for women was nearly one-third higher than for men.

"[This is accounting for] the greater number of women than men who survive due to old age," said Professor Harrison.

These statistics certainly outline the need for appropriate levels of care for the elderly, especially as moving throughout the home becomes increasingly difficult. Often, due to the increased risks, it's necessary for elderly Australians to consider the viability of an aged care home.

On the aged care provider side, ensuring facilities are prepared with the appropriate access for residents is important.

Falls were the highest cause of injury, with 77 per cent of total elderly hospital admissions resulting from such accidents while either at home or in a public place.

"There were approximately 96,000 cases of hospitalised falls injury in 2011–12. The rate increased with increasing age, with the highest number of hospitalisations recorded among people aged 85 and older (41,267)," Professor Harrison said.

In addition, the length of hospital stays was also found increase due to age, the average hitting five days for ages 65-69 and over 8 days for ages 85 and over.

It is essential for providers to be aware of the dangers of elderly injury, and take all necessary steps as the sector continues to see rising resident numbers.