Fiona Walsh, co-founder and principal architect at DDS Architects, looks at how targeted, informed building design can reduce the incidence of falls in care homes
If falls were a new disease, we would consider them an epidemic. There would be glitzy campaigns to fund urgent research into reducing them and vast public health messaging into how to avoid this deadly new threat. But since they are neither new nor mono-causal, far less attention is paid to them.
But no one in the care system needs to be told how deadly a fall can be
It is estimated that, in Europe, total deaths and disability-adjusted life years due to falls have increased steadily since 1990.1 The Global Burden of Disease study reported nearly 17 million years of life lost from falls in 2017. Related societal and economic consequences are substantial.
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