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.
- Fall-related ER visit and hospitalization rates for Ohioans 65 years and older are higher than rates for all other injuries combined.
Ohioans 65 and older accounted for approximately 82% of fatal falls in 2009; while they represent only 14% of the population.
Risk for suffering serious injury after a fall increases dramatically with advancing age. Females 85 years and older account for half of fatal falls, while they account for only 3% of the female population.
Falls among older adults cost Ohio and its residents $4.2 billion in 2003, more than two-thirds (68 percent), of the total annual costs of nonfatal, hospital-admitted falls. Direct medical costs represent only a fraction (8%) of the total cost.
Costs Associated with Falls Among Older Adults, Ages 65+, Ohio, 2003
||$ 4.2 billion
Source: CSN Economics & Data Analysis Resource Center; Incidence based on HCUP survey data
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 2010-2014 state plan.
Last Reviewed 1/25/13