- Falls are increasing in Wakefield
- The bulk of people falling in Wakefield are repeat fallers, suggesting that there is much more we can do in terms of falls prevention
- Most of the people falling are aged 75 and older
- People in more deprived communities are more likely to experience a fall, they are less likely to recover as quickly and return to their before state of health
- In Wakefield the are Wakefield East has the highest rate of injuries due to falls
Falls tend to affect the 65 and over’s in an area. The increasing level of frailty that develops as we age makes the elderly the most at risk to fall.
The whole experience of a fall for an older person has a significant impact on their life. Most never recover to the same level of mobility as they had previous to their fall. As a result, a person’s health and wellbeing is reduced post a fall making them vulnerable to a host of illness, injury and exploitation.
Many people who fall may also have other health conditions that may have contributed to their fall. Falls may impact people emotionally, socially, physically and financially.
Wakefield has historically performed well on falls as a result of preventative initiatives that have been invested in for the area. The area has similar rates of fallers as the national average. There are around 1,300 people who have an injury due to a fall each year in Wakefield, and two thirds of these are women.
However the trend in Wakefield as nationally is an increasing one, with increasing number of 85 and over fallers. Increasing falls is likely to be seen in Wakefield as a consequence of life expectancy improving in the last decade, which is likely to be most apparent in men due to the doubling of those aged over 85 in the next decade.
As with many injuries, diseases or conditions, the burden is not shared equally by the population. This is the case for falls; if you are of a poorer background you are more likely have a fall. Also your recovery is likely to be poorer, reducing overall health and wellbeing.
- Communities such as Normanton, Airedale and Ferry Fryston and Wakefield East have higher rates of people falling, reflecting some of the poorest areas in Wakefield district.
Area such as Wakefield East and Altofts and Whitwood have consistently high rates for men and women in the district indicating communities that have concentrations of people falling.
It’s worth noting that these figures are standardized which takes into account the age and gender of residents. However it does not control for frailty; areas that have care homes are more likely to have a frail population and therefore greater numbers of falls.
- Falls Prevention:
- A regular newsletter covering recent falls prevention activity will appear here each quarter.
- Raise awareness of falls in the community and in general practice promoting the use of the level 1 falls risk screening tool (FRAT) and linking it to level 2 falls risk tool, ensuring organisational sign up
- Use opportunities in primary care e.g. Waiting Room Campaign
- Consider targeting at risk groups e.g. those with specific health conditions
- Consider a range of approaches to engage and agree with wider partner organisations to support the development of the Wakefield approach
- Explore further the relationship between deprivation and falling to inform areas for preventative work
- A recent publication developed by the team, outlines the current issues for falls prevention in Wakefield. The document can be found here
- A deeper needs assessment into falls where much of the local evidence was collated to form this page is available here
- Support after a fall:
- Review current support systems/ rehabilitation programmes in place and ensure adequate social support at community level for after a fall.
- Revisit discharge pathway to address the needs of fallers Institutions, falls and fallers.
- Explore policy, procedures and pathways around falls prevention and the proactive management of fallers in institutions, including extra care housing facilities.
Below is a map showing community assets that are available to support the eldery around reabiliation and falls prevention.