PW 1230 Falls among the elderly are preventable. A holistic approach on safety promotion in portugal

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BackgroundPortugal, in 2017, was the fourth oldest country in the world, with 27.9% of people aged 60 or over. The average life expectancy is currently 81 years and in 2080 it is estimated to be 89. The aging of the population and the incidence of hip fracture resulting from falls pose us a public health problem. To deal with this public health problem the Directorate-General of Health in partnership with MAPFRE Foundation established a national capacity-building Plan and produce guides and booklets on home and leisure’s accident prevention.ObjectiveEvaluate the prevalence of hip fracture, estimate its incidence in the near future and health gains with a structured Project on home and leisure’s accident prevention.MethodsSystematic review, statistic and epidemiological evaluation and health planning resulting from the monitoring process of the projects implemented.FindingsCurrently we have 25 Projects implemented using a public health strategy, that reinforce awareness, assessment and community intervention of older people, family, caregivers, youth and media. Around one in five falls requires medical care with one in twenty ending in fracture. Between 2013 and 2017 (October) falls resulting in hip fractures in people aged 65 or over were 3 14 815. Only 48% (150,706) had surgery in the first 48 hours.ConclusionThe incidence of hip fractures is higher with the increasing of the population aging. The community intervention has contributed to the recognition of the importance of health education in home and leisure’s accident prevention. The materials on home risk evaluation, validated by Health Sector, are in use and appropriated for the training/empowering of the target groups.Policy implicationsThe costs to the NHS and the social protection system are very high and, in the future, keeping this trend, will have important consequences in personal and family life of victims. So, safety promotion and domestic and leisure accidents prevention is the best strategy to deal with falls among the elderly.

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