Falls Among Older Adults
Falls are particularly harmful to older adults. Falls and fall-related injury seriously affect older adults’ quality of life and present a substantial burden to the Ohio health-care system. They surpass all other mechanisms of injury as a cause of ER visits, hospitalization and death. The following data provide clear justification of the need for fall prevention efforts.
- From 2000 to 2012, Ohioans aged 65 and older experienced a 167 percent increase in the number of fatal falls and 136 percent increase in the fall death rate. On average, 2.7 older Ohioans suffered fatal falls each day in 2012.
- In 2012, there were nearly 3 (3.4) fall‐related ER visits for every 100 Ohio older adults (data not shown) and nearly 7 (7.4) fall‐related hospitalizations for every 1,000 Ohio older adults. Fall-related ER visit and hospitalization rates increased from 2002 to 2011 but decreased in 2012.
Older adults are disproportionately affected by fall-related injury.
- Falls are the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths for Ohioans age 65 and older.
- Older adults account for only 15% of Ohio citizens; however they account for 84% of fatal falls.
- From 2000 to 2012, Ohioans aged 65 and older experienced a 165% increase in the number of fatal falls.
Falls are costly.
Falls among older adults cost Ohio and its residents $646 million in 2012.
Costs Associated with Falls Among Older Adults, Ages 65+, Ohio, 2010
Due to the large and growing burden of fall-related injury in Ohio, especially among older Ohioans over 65 years, additional resources are needed at both the state and local level to implement evidence-based prevention initiatives.
There are simple steps that older adults can take to reduce their risk for a fall. Additional resources including checklists and brochures are available from the CDC at: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/index.html
State Plan for Preventing Falls Among Older Adults
Through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Core Injury grant, the Ohio VIPP established the Ohio Injury Prevention Partnership (OIPP) in November of 2007. The purpose of the OIPP is to bring together a group of multi-disciplinary professionals from across the state to identify priority injury issues and develop strategies to address them. Falls among older adults are one of the OIPP’s priorities and the members recommended the formation of a specific group to address the issue. In November of 2009 the Ohio Older Adults Falls Prevention Coalition was formed and a statewide partnership worked together to develop a 2017-2021 state plan.
Last Updated 1/23/2017