The Direct Costs Behind Dehydration in Care Homes.
Dehydration has a huge impact on falls and UTI’s in care homes.
Falls within the elderly population cost the health & social care economy around £4.4 billion annually. Falling is one of the most frequent and serious injuries for those aged 65 and over, with 50% of people over 80 suffering a fall each year, and 33% of people over 65 experiencing a fall each year.
There are an estimated 500,000 fragility fractures each year in the over 65’s with each of these fragility fractures caused by a fall, costing the NHS just under £21,000.
Daimon Wheddon, area clinical lead at East of England Ambulance Service, said: “Fall related calls make up a large percentage (18%) of the incidents we attend every day. We regularly see dehydration as a contributory factor in our elderly patients who have fallen; common complications include low blood pressure, weakness and dizziness, all of which can increase the risk of falls.”
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common hospital acquired infection in the UK, accounting for 23% of all infections. UTI’s are more common amongst the elderly, and UTI cases increase in care home settings by up to 57%.
The NHS spent £434 million in 2013/14 on treating 184,000 hospital patients with unplanned admissions for a Urinary Tract Infections. This equates to an average of £2,358 cost per unplanned hospital admission. On average, CCG’s received £2.1 million to handle unplanned admissions for UTIs
Dehydration is a contributory factor leading to falls and UTIs in the elderly. Ensuring good hydration not only prevents these problems, it also improves the mood, stimulates the appetite and reduces restlessness and disrupted sleep patterns. Reducing the number of falls in the elderly will not only save money and reduce pressure on the NHS, but will enable older people to maintain their independence longer.
Something as simple as making sure older people are drinking plenty of fluids can make a real difference. We are supplying care homes across the country with our Hydracare system, a digital way of tracking and recording fluid intake sip by sip.
If you’d like more information about our Hydracare system and want to know more about the improvements to care and potential cost savings your organisation could make, request a demo below....