One In Six Over 65s Hide Serious Injuries

Over 65s Are Failing To Inform Their Families If They Suffer A Serious Injury

12.11.2013

One in six over 65s have kept a serious injury or accident secret from their friends and family over the past five years.

Research by Centra Pulse has uncovered that older people are putting their health in danger by failing to disclose certain issues, which in turn is preventing them from receiving the support they require.

Of the 2,000 adults questioned, 12 per cent said they worried their families would think they are incapable of looking after themselves if they come clean, while 50 per cent are wary of a potential overreaction to the news.

On top of this, 21 per cent revealed the reason they hide serious injuries is because they are scared they will become a burden to their family and friends, while only 40 per cent have thought about how life is going to get tougher as they age.

Less than a third (28 per cent) have spoken to their loved ones about what will happen if they can no longer look after themselves.

Figures from the National Trauma Data Bank of the American College of Surgeons has found that unintentional falls is the top cause for traumatic injuries in over 65s. Brain injuries and spine or hip fractures are among the common conditions that result from such falls.

Wendy Darling, managing director of Centra Pulse, said: "We need to do more to support older people at risk of covering up potentially serious problems. There is a stigma that sometimes comes with growing older and it's clear this can stop people from facing up to the help they could get.

"Many older people say they find it difficult to be thought of as a burden or incapable by others when they start to suffer problems at home."

In terms of how over 65s are referred to, 34 per cent said the term old was offensive, while those questioned also thought elderly (27 per cent) and OAP (30 per cent) had negative connotations.

Expert Opinion
It is quite sad and shocking that 1 in 6 people over 65 feel they have to hide a potentially serious injury which may be putting them at more risk than they realise. It is extremely important that if anyone has suffered an injury, even if they believe it to be minor, that they seek medical advice or attention.

“What people need to understand is that minor injuries can lead to further problems if untreated so it’s imperative that a family member or your GP is aware of the issue so it can be treated at the earliest opportunity.

“Although people may feel they do not want to bother a family member or worry anyone, they could actually be doing more harm and only worry family further if the situation is left untreated.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner