Rates of Falls for Kenosha County Elderly
are the Highest in Southeast Wisconsin
Click here to see data
KAFASI Offers Stepping On Class to Prevent Falls
Fridays, March 8 - April 26, 2013 10am-12pm
Stepping On - Evidence Based Program Fact Sheet
The Impact of Falls on Older Adults
Falls Prevention : NCOA, National Council on Aging
Falls and fall-related injuries among older adults are a serious public health problem in a rapidly aging population:
- In the U.S., falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and serious injuries among people aged 65+.
- 30% of people aged 65+ who live in the community fall each year; the incidence increases to 50% for those aged 80+.
- Two-thirds of those who fall do so again within six months.
- In 2007, there were 2.1 million older adult fall injuries treated in emergency rooms. Over 550,000 were subsequently admitted to hospitals.
- Although they did not require significantly longer stays, fall-related injuries had a higher average cost of $10,800 compared to stays among older adults admitted from the emergency department for other reasons ($9,900).
- In 2007, over 18,000 older adults died as a result of a fall event.
- Injuries from falls can be significant, with 20-30% of falls causing moderate or serious injuries, such as fractures or head traumas associated with significant morbidity, reduced mobility, decreased functioning, and loss of independence.
- In 2000, the total direct cost of all fall injuries for people aged 65+ exceeded $19 billion. The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages, and may reach $54.9 billion by 2020.
In addition to pain and suffering, and the high cost of rehabilitation, falls with or without injury also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, often self-limit activities and social engagements. Resulting limitations can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.
How can older adults prevent falls?
Older adults can take several steps to protect their independence and reduce their chances of falling. They can:
- Exercise regularly. It’s important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
- Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to reduce side effects and interactions that may cause dizziness or drowsiness.
- Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision.
- Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars and railings, and improving the lighting in their homes.
Resources to Prevent Falls
KenoshaCounty Aging and Disability Resource Center
ADRC Prevention Programs
Referral Form for Prevention Services
Stepping On Workshop Registration
Summary of ADRC Prevention Programs
Wisconsin Injury Prevention Program
National Council on Aging
Healthy Aging Fact Sheet
Center for Disease Control
Preventing Falls: What Works