• 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

The Population

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.

The Challenges

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.

The Inequality

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.

Service Provision