Media Release | Report Shows Impact of Falls in the Kimberley

December 7, 2020

Injury Matters, in partnership with the WA Department of Health, has released the 2020 Western Australian Falls Report. The Report highlights the significant incidence of falls-related fatalities, hospitalisations, and emergency department attendances in the state.

The Report shows that the Kimberley region experienced the highest rate of falls-related hospitalisations in the state, with people more than twice as likely to be hospitalised from a fall in the Kimberly than the rest of the state. In 2018, 483 Kimberley residents were hospitalised due to a fall.

Falls are a significant public health issue affecting families and the health care system, with falls ranking as the leading cause of injury hospitalisations and emergency department attendances in WA. The Report shows someone died every 26 hours in WA due to a falls-related injury in 2017; while older adults and those in regional WA remain overrepresented in falls injury statistics.

Aiming to reduce the incidence of falls in the Kimberley, Boab Health Service has recently commenced a community-based falls prevention program in Broome, as a successful Stay On Your Feet® Improve Your Health grant recipient. Delivered in partnership with Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, the project involves a series of sessions incorporating physical activity, healthy cooking classes, and a range of health professional guest speakers to educate the local community around reducing their experiencing a fall.

Injury Matters Injury Prevention Manager, Rachel Meade said, “This Report demonstrates that falls continue to have large impact on the WA community. Behind every number in this Report are real people who have had their lives impacted by a fall.”

“Falls don’t have to be part of getting older. They are preventable. By engaging in falls prevention activities, we can help older adults to continue to live healthy, long lives, uninterrupted by falls injuries.”

Read the Report here: www.injurymatters.org.au/2020-wa-falls-report

Find out more about the Stay On Your Feet® program at www.stayonyourfeet.com.au

2020 Western Australian Falls Report key findings, in Western Australia:

  • Every 26 hours someone died due to a falls-related injury in 2017.
  • Every 19 minutes someone was admitted to hospital due to a falls-related injury in 2018.
  • Every 12 minutes someone presented to the emergency department due to a falls-related injury in 2018.
  • 329 falls-related fatalities in 2017.
  • 27,327 falls-related hospitalisations in 2018.
  • Individuals aged 80 years and over experience the highest rate of falls-related injuries.
  • Females experienced a higher rate of falls-related hospitalisations and emergency department attendances in 2018.
  • The Kimberley region had the highest rate of falls-related hospitalisations in 2018.
  • 42,384 falls-related emergency department presentations in 2018.
  • $215.2 million was paid in lost-time compensation claims in 2018 due to a workplace falls.