By Rory Reynolds
A NEW cutting-edge device is being installed in the homes of elderly and vulnerable people to help to cut the number of injuries from falls.
Over 300 people in Edinburgh will be given a neck pendent linked directly to the emergency services, to ensure that injuries from accidents are minimised.
And their home will also be fitted with hi-tech motion detector and falls detection unit, which will alert ambulance staff if a patient falls to the floor.
So far the quick response from the ambulance service has meant that fewer than 15 per cent of people have to go to hospital.The project is attempting to cut down on the 70,000 people who break their hip every year – at a cost of £1.7billion to the NHS UK-wide.
The scheme is part of Edinburgh’s £1million Telecare project, which is expected to free up 3,000 hospital beds per year in the Lothian area.
Councillor Paul Edie, Health and Social Care Convener for Edinburgh Council, said falls at home can seriously affect elderly people’s lives.
He said: “Falls can shake their confidence and leave them lonely and isolated, they become worried about leaving their home for routine trips to the shops or even moving too far from the safety of a particular room.
“If we can rebuild their self-belief then they can literally rebuild their lives and grasp back their independence.
“Falls are a major reason for people going into long term care and addressing this issue is a priority for the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian.”