The mission of the Stepping Up to Prevent Falls Coalition is to reduce falls and fall-related injuries through community collaboration, awareness, education, and evidence-based interventions.
Unintentional falls among older adults are a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in the U.S. and Ohio. Hospital costs associated with injuries sustained by falls account for a substantial share of health care dollars. In 2014, 1,160 Ohio residents ages 65 and older died, and more than 100,000 fall injuries were treated at hospitals and emergency departments.
Adults ages 65 and older account for 84% of all fall deaths and 75% of nonfatal fall hospitalizations in Ohio.
In Delaware County, falls remain a prevalent public health concern.
From 2016 to 2017, emergency medical service runs for older adults who suffered falls went from 737 to 973, an increase of 32%. Additionally, emergency department visits due to falls went from 6.9 per 100 older adults in 2016 to 8.5 per 100 in 2017, a 23% increase. These statistics suggest severe falls requiring emergency medical assistance, and thus more likely to lead to fatalities, are increasing in our community. Therefore, Delaware County needs to expand and improve our falls prevention programs.
The goal of the Stepping Up to Prevent Falls Coalition is to prevent falls among older adults by convening a group of committed, local partners to implement evidence-based strategies to prevent falls. Strategies include:
- Provide more fall-risk assessments.
- Build systems for home assessment and modifications.
- Increase access to balance and mobility training.
- Reduce risk factors, such as medication interactions.
- Increase the availability of medical screenings, including vision and hearing tests.
Who’s on the Coalition?
The coalition consists of a number of local organizations and businesses committed to falls prevention. For more information, or to join the coalition, contact Clare Decker, community education and initiatives manager, at [email protected] or 740-363-6677.