Monday 17th of June, marks the start of Falls Awareness Week 2013, an awareness event run by charity Age UK. The awareness week is of relevance to the most common forms of diabetes which are linked with an increased danger of falling.
Falls become more likely, the older we get. Falls occur in one third of people over 65 each year and in half of people over 80 each year. The fact that injury is common as a result of falls means that they result in over half of hospital admissions for accidental injury.
A number of factors make falls more likely in people with diabetes and research studies, such as the 2008 study (Diabetes-Related Complications, Glycemic Control, and Falls in Older Adults) links insulin users in particular at a greater risk of falling.
Fractures are a common injury as a result of falls and around 223,000 people over 60 suffer a fracture as a result of falling each year in the UK. Fractures are significantly more likely in people with osteoporosis, a condition which can be more likely in diabetes, and particularly so in people with type 1 diabetes.
Hip fractures are particularly dangerous as they can not only limit mobility but can lead to wider problems including having significantly negative affects on confidence and can lead to people being afraid to leave their home for risk of falling. Age UK reports that in the UK there are 13,800 hip-fracture-related deaths each year.
Older people with either type of diabetes are advised to be careful to prevent falls occurring. Being aware of hypos and treating them quickly will help to reduce the risk of falling. Blood glucose testing can be helpful towards confirming whether blood glucose are low and learning how to reduce hypos from occurring.

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