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Decaf drinks can reduce falls by 35pc, new study shows

Switching to decaffeinated hot drinks can reduce toileting-related falls by 35 per cent, a trial in eight care homes has shown.

If replicated across the sector, the results would mean thousands of falls prevented and NHS savings of up to £85m per year. 

In a study around 300 residents across Stow Healthcare care homes were given the chance to blind taste-test caffeinated and decaffeinated drinks. The incidence of falls was tracked over six months between June – November 2023.

Residents, staff and families at Stow Healthcare’s facilities have described the “huge difference” made by switching to decaf and pride in being a part of the trailblazing trial.

Fragility fractures in social care are estimated to cost the NHS £1.1 billion per year. 

The study was run jointly between Care England, Stow Healthcare and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL).  The full report is available online

Ruth French, director at Stow Healthcare, said: “Finding simple ways that might reduce the risk [of falls] is ground-breaking. We hope it will inspire everyone in social care to take up the challenge!” 

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