One in four over 65s have had a fall at home but kept it quiet from loved ones

Reduced mobility, changes in toilet habits, and forgetfulness are the top concerns that over-65s have about their health – that they keep hidden from loved ones, a study has found.

A quarter of older adults, aged 65 and over, admit they have suffered a fall at home, with one in four blaming this on reduced mobility – while 13% blame joint pain, and 11% put the fall down to objects on the floor.

But of those who have taken a tumble, a quarter have kept it quiet from their family and friends – as 39% do not want to be a burden, according to the poll of 2,000 over-65s.

And other care concerns that they have kept to themselves include difficulty sleeping, hearing difficulties, lack of energy, and loneliness – with three in ten older adults concealing their health worries.

The study, commissioned by connected care platform, Anthropos, follows a government report which revealed it costs £4.4 billion a year to treat injuries caused by falls.

But 26% believe they can deal with any care issue themselves, while 16% don’t want to be labelled “vulnerable” – and almost a fifth (18%) simply don’t want to acknowledge they’re getting older.

However, 42% of those who haven’t shared their concerns worry about the implications of doing so – while 33% feel stressed at not being open with those close to them.

Despite their attempts to keep care concerns under wraps, a fifth admitted loved ones have realised what they were doing.

And of these, 83% felt a weight had been lifted off their shoulders after their secret was discovered, according to the research carried out via OnePoll.

Jim Patience, CEO of Anthropos, said: “It is extremely worrying that a quarter of over 65s are experiencing falls – and a quarter of these people don’t pass this essential care information on to a loved one or carer.

“Practically, it means as many as 686,000 older people are concealing falls each year.

“We hope adults of all ages consider how these findings may support gentle, sensitive conversations with the older people in their lives about all care matters, from falls to forgetfulness.

“Connected Care Platforms can help by first building a picture of older people’s daily routines, and then by spotting any meaningful changes that could point towards the need for extra support.

“When that non-intrusive insight is shared (with consent) with families and carers, it can empower both older people and their families to act fast, and make better-informed care decisions.”


  1. Reduced mobility
  2. Changes in toilet habits
  3. Forgetfulness
  4. Difficulty sleeping
  5. Falls or loss of balance
  6. Lack of energy
  7. Loneliness
  8. Loss of appetite
  9. Hearing difficulties
  10. Physical impairment/tremors/weak grip