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How Can Decaffeinated Drinks Help to Reduce Life Threatening Falls for Seniors?

Updated: 7 days ago

life threatening falls

In this post, we’ll answer the above question for you, as well as provide some links and resources that will help you understand how caffeinated and decaffeinated drinks work in terms of the bladder and gut. This is not to be construed as medical advice, and you should always consult with a doctor or urologist when investigating questions about your bladder and gut 

1st Focus Care is a home care provider in Edinburgh, and we have experience looking after hundreds of seniors over the years. In this article, we want to focus on how falls can be eliminated in the home for seniors, and through our own research, provide an answer to the opening question on this page.

Recent Medical Research Into the Effects of Caffeine on Seniors

One of the most recent pieces of news supporting the move to decaffeinated hot drinks came in a study that had taken a sample of residents who were in residential care homes.

The sample of residents came from eight homes, and the study was completed over six months. The reason behind the six-month testing period was so that people changing from caffeine-based drinks to decaffeinated drinks could be monitored for changes in both physical and brain function.

Many of the life-threatening falls reported either in care homes or those where residents are at home, were reported to hospitals as people who had fallen when trying to either go to the bathroom or even those who had tried to use a bedpan or bottle for urinating.

Results of the Decaffeinated vs Caffeinated Drinks Trial

After the trial, a report was released and it concluded that the sample size of the test had seen a 35% reduction in the number of falls related to OAPs and Seniors who had fallen trying to go to the toilet.

The results further showed an estimate that the drinking of decaffeinated drinks could potentially save the NHS in the UK around 85 million pounds in emergency room staffing time and operations that would be needed to support seniors with broken bones.

A lot of the injuries seen were either hip or shoulder injuries, a part of the body that is more vulnerable in seniors than the younger population.

Has the Use of Decaffeinated Drinks Been Proven to Reduce Life-Threatening Falls?

life threatening falls

The recent trial followed on from University Hospitals Leicester in the UK, where continence specialist Sarah Coombes had advised using these types of drinks.

Coombes who is on the frontline as a nurse has seen several falls due to the issue of incontinence, which affects more than 20% of the senior population over the age of 60.

The numbers and statistics for men and women can be found at the website. The simple answer to the question here though is a resounding Yes.

Why Does Caffeine Cause Bladder and Bowel Issues?

Caffeine itself is known to be a diuretic (makes the bladder urinate more often) and this is one of the reasons it can cause issues with toileting.

It is also known to cause issues with seniors that may have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)We mentioned Sarah Coombes in the previous paragraph and this exceptional nurse was frustrated by the number of falls that were occurring at the various hospitals where she was working, you can read more about Sarah Coombes study on the website.

But the key things to consider from her work and the study she undertook, are the results and data.Here are the benefits that were seen by both the hospitals, and more importantly the patients.

Hospital Benefits of Reduced Caffeine Consumption

Here are the three key benefits seen by the hospitals that introduced Miss Coombe's recommendations.

  • In the first year of the trial, falls reduced from 17.4 per month to 12.3 per month.

  • In the second year, falls had reduced from 12.3 per month to 6.75 per month.

  • UHL also undertook a survey where 63% of respondents said they had seen an improvement in overactive bladder complaints.

Patient Benefits of Reduced Caffeine Consumption

Here are the three key benefits seen by patients who had switched from caffeine-based to decaffeinated drinks.

  • A reduced need to use incontinence pads.

  • A reduction in the levels of high blood pressure was shown in caffeine-drinking seniors.

  • An improvement in mental health due to the improved quality of life.

Who Can Benefit From This Study of Decaffeinated vs Caffeinated Drinks for Seniors?

The study itself has already seen strong coverage in the media, but the real heroine of this is Sarah Coombes who had gone back to the basics of nursing, and that is “caring for the patient”

The knock-on effect is that hospitals, care homes, and in-home care providers like ourselves, now have valuable proven data on the benefits of decaffeinated drinks, and it is something we have taken on board by making this a recommendation to all of our own clients.

What Were the Negatives of the Trial?

From our own research of the trial, there have not really been any negatives. However, it was proven that many of the falls that happen to seniors do happen in care homes.

This is clearly not due to the quality or skills of the staff but more to the fact that you have a one-to-many situation in care homes.You have a larger amount of people that need care and it is not possible for a care home to provide one-to-one care 24 hours per day.

You also have the issue that toilet facilities may not be as close as they would be in your own home. Home help care services are one way of alleviating this type of risk.

What do you Need to Consider When Making the Switch to Decaffeinated Drinks?

There is no getting away from the fact that most of us enjoy our morning cuppa, whether that be tea or coffee, and there are things to take into consideration before making the switch. You need to consider the following factors when making a choice.

  1. Taste - The taste of decaffeinated drinks may not be to your liking.

  2. Cost - It is well known that the cost of decaffeinated tea and coffee is higher.

  3. Mental Health - If you suffer from a weak bladder or incontinence, how beneficial would it be for you mentally to see an improvement in these conditions?

  4. Safety - If you have suffered from falls in the past with no medical reason being given, could a change like this make things more safe for you physically?

  5. Quality of Life - Will a senior's quality of life be improved by moving away from their favourite caffeine-based tea or coffee, and can this promote independent living?


Q1: What are the key benefits of drinking decaffeinated drinks?

A1: It has been proven that moving to decaffeinated drinks can reduce the risk of falls, improve bladder control, improve sleep, reduce hypertension, and improve mental well-being.

Q2: What are the dangers of drinking caffeinated tea and coffee?

A2: As shown in the information we have researched, caffeine can lead to a weak bladder, irritable bowel, and incontinence.

Q3: Does decaffeinated coffee taste as good as normal coffee?

A3: Well the test undertaken by Stow Healthcare showed that a resounding 93% of residents took part in the tasting test, and a large amount have now stayed with the decaffeinated version.Q4. What is the best decaffeinated coffee?

A4. It is more important to look at the method used for decaffeinating coffee. It is widely known that the Swiss Water® Process used by companies like Ebenica Coffee is very beneficial. Coffee treated in this way removes any type of preserves and residues of chemical solvents. This helps keep the unique flavors and properties of coffee, including the content of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are good for the body.


Below you can find useful references that can support you and your family in making the right decision of whether to switch to decaffeinated drinks.


There is no doubt that the study undertaken by UHL and Sarah Coombes has brought to light a clear path for improving the quality of life of seniors and OAP’s.From our point of view here at 1st Focus Homecare, we now make it a standard to explain the potential benefits of switching to decaffeinated drinks. As one of the leading companies for home care in Edinburgh, we are always trying to find ways of supporting our service users.

One of the leading home care service providers in Edinburgh, 1st Focus Homecare is available to act as a care provider and support you with your daily living needs.

For more information, you can read our guide to homecare services. Feel free to call, and we can arrange to visit you for a chat to learn more about you and your care needs.



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