NCOA Leads First-Ever National Falls Prevention Resource Center

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Vanessa Sink

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$5 million in new grants will help older adults nationwide prevent life-threatening falls

Washington, D.C. – The National Council on Aging (NCOA) was awarded a grant from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to establish and lead the country’s first National Falls Prevention Resource Center to reach thousands of older adults and their families with information on how to prevent falls.

In total, the ACL awarded nearly $5 million to 14 state and local grantees and NCOA to support the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based falls prevention programs and strategies across the nation.

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people 65 and older. One in three older adults—more than 14 million—falls every year, incurring over $30 billion in medical costs. These falls are often avoidable, but access to proven prevention programs is currently limited.

As the National Falls Prevention Resource Center, NCOA will:

  • Provide expert guidance, leadership, and resources for consumers and professionals
  • Serve as a national clearinghouse for best practices for implementing evidence-based falls prevention programs
  • Establish national leadership and technical assistance structures to scale and sustain successful programs

For more than nine years, NCOA’s Falls Free® Initiative has been the national leader in raising awareness about older adult falls and how to prevent them. Today, more than 43 states and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies work collaboratively through the Initiative to spread evidence-based falls prevention programs and strategies.

“Falls are not an inevitable part of growing older,” said James Firman, NCOA President and CEO. “The state and local grantees, working closely with the Resource Center, will improve access to proven programs and educate thousands of older Americans and their families about simple steps to stay safe as they age.”

In addition to NCOA, 10 domestic and private nonprofit entities and four tribal organizations received two-year grants. Awardees will work in collaboration with the Resource Center to implement or expand evidence-based falls prevention programs.

The grants are part of falls prevention funding allocated from the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) provided support and leadership for the funding. The PPHF was established under the Affordable Care Act as the first mandatory funding stream dedicated to improving the nation’s public health.

On Sept. 23, 48 states and numerous community organizations celebrated the 7th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day, which the Falls Free® Initiative sponsors each year on the first day of fall. This year’s event highlighted the important roles professionals, caregivers, and family members play in raising awareness and helping older adults have a Strong Today – Falls Free® Tomorrow.

To learn more about Falls Prevention Awareness Day or the Falls Free® Initiative, visit www.ncoa.org/FallsPrevention.

A complete list of ACL Evidence-Based Falls Prevention grantees can be found here.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.