Falls Prevention

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injury in people over age 60. The Y offers two classes to help people reduce risk while increasing strength and balance.

  • The Moving for Better Balance program is a 12-week evidence-based falls prevention program recognized by the CDC and a number of other federal and state government agencies. The class uses the principles and movements of Tai Chi to help older adults increase their strength, improve their balance, and increase their confidence in doing everyday activities. 
  • In partnership with Land of Sky Regional Council, A Matter of Balance is a free eight-week structured group intervention that emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable, set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and exercise to increase strength and balance.

Risk Assessment

Falls Prevention Risk Assessment

Facts About Falls

National Falls Statistics

  • Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults age 65 and over .
  • One out of three adults 65 and older fall each year, with many repeating a fall within six months.
  • In 2012, 2.4 million nonfatal falls among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 722,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
  • In 2012, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, were $30 billion.
  • 20% to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, and head traumas, increasing the risk of independence and early death.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in older adults, with 46% of fatal falls in this population due to TBI in 2000.
  • Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls.
  • Many people who fall, even if not injured, develop a fear of falling. This causes them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling.

Fall Injuries

  • People age 75 and older who fall are four to five times more likely than those age 65 to 74 to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.
  • Over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. In 2010, there were 258,000 hip fractures and the rate for women was almost twice the rate for men.

NC Falls Statistics

  • Falls are the No. 1 cause of injury death for individuals 65 and older.
  • Buncombe County ranks No. 5 and Henderson County ranks No. 1 in North Carolina for deaths due to falls and falls related accidents.
  • Unintentional falls were the leading cause of traumatic brain injury hospitalizations in 2014.
  • On an average injury day in North Carolina, there are two fall deaths, 69 hospitalizations, and 531 emergency department (ED) visits.
  • Projected lifetime costs associated with fall injuries in 2014 among North Carolina residents ages 65 and older are estimated to be near $1.4 billion dollars.
  • By 2030, it is projected that 89 of 100 counties in North Carolina will have a population in which more than 20% of the residents are 65 years and older, compared to 17 counties in 2010.
  • Each week, there are 1,189 ED visits among residents ages 65 and older, 266 hospitalizations, and 17 deaths due to fall injuries.

NC Emergency Department and Hospital Costs Related to Falls

  • 2009: $491,971,188
  • 2010: $555,049,871
  • 2011: $562,279,070
  • 2014: $1,394,855,000

NC Population Age 50 and Over

  • 2016: 39% Buncombe, 46% Henderson, 41% McDowell
  • North Carolina’s 65 and older population will almost double in the next 20 years, from 1.3 million to 2.3 million.
  • By 2025, one in four North Carolinians will be 60 years of age and older.
  • Over the next two decades, the 75-84 age group will be the fastest growing of those ages 65 and older. The number of adults age 85 and older will grow the fastest, beginning in 2030 when the oldest of the 2.4 million baby boomers living in North Carolina reaches their 85th birthday.

Sources