Why some of Calderdale’s older people are more likely to fall than others

The new report into healthy ageing has produced a number of action points, including finding out why older people are more l8ikely to suffer a fall in some wards than others
The new report into healthy ageing has produced a number of action points, including finding out why older people are more l8ikely to suffer a fall in some wards than others

Health chiefs in Calderdale will be looking into why older people are suffering more falls in some wards than others.

When Calderdale’s Director of Public Health Paul Butcher compiled his annual report Age Old Questions, which looks at healthy ageing, statistics showed more patients over 65 from four council wards were emergency admissions to hospital for broken hips than the others.

One of 17 recommendations he made in his report was that health partners should investigate reasons why the rate in Park ward, Halifax, was far higher than any others.

At a national standardised admission ratio where the national average is given a rating figure of just over 100, Park ward has more than double that with a ratio figure of 206.4.

Over 65s in Todmorden, Ovenden and Rastrick wards are also above the average with Todmorden receiving a 146.3 rating, Ovenden 137.3 and Rastrick 126.7.

All other areas are about average or below with Warley ward faring best with a rating of 64.4.

Mr Butcher says reasons can be ascertained and there are a host of things which can be done to help prevent falls and fractures.

“The reason can be that people haven’t got as much core strength. For example, if they haven’t been moving around they can lose function and are therefore more liable to fall,” he said.

“We have already got a falls prevention service – do we need to see or do more people in that area and focus more efforts there.”

Engaging in regular physical activity to develop and maintain strength and balance help to reduce falls – in older adults poor muscle strength increases the risk of a fall by 76 per cent.

Mr Butcher said the ongoing Active Calderdale project was working to achieve this aim, and in ways which people wanted to do it.

“We want to encourage people to do strength or balance training which is acceptable for that population – what do they like to do, what do they look to see offered?” he said.