Older adults account for a disproportionate share of fall-related injuries, and falls are particularly harmful to older adults. Falls and fall-related injuries seriously affect older adults’ quality of life and present a substantial burden to the Ohio healthcare system. They surpass all other mechanisms of injury as a cause of emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalization and death.
An older adult falls every minute on average in Ohio, resulting in three deaths each day, two hospitalizations each hour and an ED visit every six and one-half minutes.
The following data provide clear justification of the need for fall prevention efforts.
Falls among older adults have reached epidemic proportions.
Older adults are disproportionately affected by fall-related injury.
Falls are costly.
The estimated total lifetime costs (medical and work loss costs combined) of unintentional falls among Ohioans aged 65 years and older is nearly $2 billion.
Estimated Total Lifetime Costs Associated with Unintentional Falls Among Older Adults, Ages 65+, Ohio, 2014
*Source: CDC Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)
†Source: Ohio Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics
‡Source: Ohio Hospital Association, discharge diagnoses data
Additional resources for the prevention of falls among older adults are needed.
Due to the large and growing burden of fall-related injuries in Ohio, especially among Ohioans over 65 years of age, additional resources are needed at both the state and local levels to implement evidence-based prevention initiatives.
Falls are not a normal part of aging.
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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
State Plan for Preventing Falls Among Older Adults
Through a CDC injury grant, the Ohio Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Section 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. One of the OIPP’s priorities is "Falls Among Older Adults," 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 2017-2021 state plan.