In July 2015, the National Council on Aging released the 2015 Falls Free® National Action Plan—a blueprint describing what should be done to reduce the growing number of falls and fall-related injuries among older adults.
This updated plan builds on the original Falls Free® National Action Plan, released in 2005, and is the product of key recommendations and strategies collected during the Falls Prevention Summit, a White House Conference on Aging event held in April 2015.
The Falls Free® National Action Plan envisions older adults experiencing fewer falls and fall-related injuries, maximizing their independence and quality of life. The purpose of the plan is to implement specific strategies and action steps to affect sustained initiatives that reduce falls among older adults through a framework of action over the next five to ten years.
The plan is a call to action, a way to initiate collaboration among multiple stakeholders, and a guide for implementing an effective, coordinated approach to preventing older adults’ falls. The plan recommendations can be implemented by stakeholders to create a collaborative, comprehensive, and coordinated effort to reduce falls among older adults.
Evidence strongly suggests that falls result from multiple factors that can be both intrinsic to the individual and within the environment. While recognizing that falls prevention requires integrated assessment and management of the full range of causative factors, this plan is organized around four primary risk factors, as well as issues that cut across multiple concerns (cross-cutting issues):
- Physical Mobility
- Medications Management
- Home Safety
- Environmental Safety in the Community
- Cross Cutting
- Funding and Reimbursement
- Expansion of Evidence-Based Programs
- Public Awareness and Education
- Public Policy and Advocacy
Forty strategies are proposed, based on evidence as well as input from the Falls Prevention Summit participants. The strategies are organized under goals within each risk factor. It is important to note that the strategies and action steps are not prioritized in this document.
The National Falls Prevention Resource Center is leading the effort to disseminate the 2015 Falls Free® National Falls Prevention Action Plan to an array of stakeholders from the public and private sectors with an interest in healthy aging and the capacity to implement action steps outlined in the plan. The plan is being disseminated to professionals in the health care and aging fields, federal and state agencies, professional associations, consumer and caregiver organizations, state and local falls prevention coalitions, corporations, and foundations.