What is a fall?
A fall is defined as an event which results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level.12
A fall can be a trip, slip or stumble. Not all falls end up with the person on the ground, they may fall back onto their bed, a chair or even correct themselves just in time.
Who do falls impact?
Falls are the leading cause of injury requiring hospitalisation in Australia.1
In Western Australia between 2011 and 2015, there were 1,165 deaths due to falls.2
Over half (57.5%) of injuries experienced by Western Australians aged 65 years and over are the result of a fall.3
In Western Australia between 2011 and 2015 there were:2
- 119,413 hospitalisations due to falls.
- 55% of hospitalisations for falls were females.
- people aged 65+ years had the highest incidence of falls.
In Western Australia Aboriginal People make up 3.1% of the population, however between 2011 and 2015 5.19% of falls hospitalisations were Aboriginal People.2,13
What is the impact on the health system?
In Western Australia in 2015, there were 23,870, hospitalisations for falls, consuming an estimated 157,259 bed days at an approximate cost of $197,632,284.9
Consequences of a fall
The average time an older adult requires in hospital, upon admission after a fall, is seven days. This is longer than if they had been admitted for any other type of injury.
With increasing age, the risk of falling and the adverse effects experienced due to falling take on greater significance. The concern is not only the high incidence of falls in this group, but rather the combination of high incidence and high susceptibility to injury. There is a greater likelihood of more severe falls-related injuries because of the high prevalence of clinical diseases and age-related physiological changes amongst older adults.
Falls fact sheet (click to download)