Key Takeaways

  • Falls are the No. 1 cause of injury and fatal injury among older adults.

  • Falls prevention programs save lives, save money, and are effective in helping older adults stay independent and falls free.

  • Download and share this infographic to learn more and spread the word about effective falls prevention.

Every year, more than 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older fall, resulting in 3 million admissions to the emergency department.1 Falls are the No. 1 cause of injury and death from injury among older adults.

The encouraging news: while falls are common and costly, both to the individual and the health care system, they often can be prevented. And evidence-based community falls prevention programs can significantly reduce falls and falls risk factors as well as reduce the costs associated with falls.

Popular community-based falls prevention programs include:

  • A Matter of Balance
  • Otago Exercise Program
  • Stepping On
  • Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance
  • EnhanceFitness
  • CAPABLE

These programs address a wide range of falls risk factors, such as improving muscle strength and balance, removing home hazards that contribute to falls, and increasing confidence to engage in falls-reduction activities. Also, these programs reduce health care costs and have proven positive returns on investment. 

Download and share our infographic highlighting key statistics on fall injuries and cost savings of evidence-based falls prevention programs.

Sources

1. Facts About Falls. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injury Prevention and Control. Found on the internet at https://www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html

2. Carande-Kulis, V., Stevens, J., Florence, C., Beattie, B.L., Arias, I. (2015). A cost-benefit analysis of three older adult falls prevention interventions. Journal of Safety Research, 52, 65–70. Found on the internet at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25662884/

3. Report to Congress in November 2013: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Evaluation of Community-based Wellness and Prevention Programs under Section 4202 (b) of the Affordable Care Act. Found on the internet at http://innovation.cms.gov/Files/reports/CommunityWellnessRTC.pdf

4. Ackermann RT, Williams B, Nguyen HQ, Berke EM, Maciejewski ML, LoGerfo JP. Healthcare cost differences with participation in a community-based group physical activity benefit for medicare managed care health plan members. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008 Aug;56(8):1459-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01804.x. Found on the internet at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1551714414000330