Nationally, at least one out of four older adults experiences a fall each year (3), and at least 2.8 million older adults visit an emergency room for fall-related injuries (4). On average, hospital costs for a fall-related injury totals over $30,000 (5). In 2015, fall-related costs reached over $31 billion for Medicare alone (5).
In Texas in 2011 alone, over 60,000 people age 50 and older were hospitalized for fall-related incidences. These hospitalizations represented a hefty $3.1 billion price tag, with an average $51,000 charged per discharge (2). This is a substantial increase from just four years previous in 2007, when the total cost of fall-related hospitalizations came to almost $1.9 billion, with an average $37,000 discharge (2).
Falls can be accompanied by negative personal (e.g. injury, loss of independence), familial, societal, and, as described above, economic consequences. However, falls are not an inevitable part of aging.
In American adults aged 65 and older, falls are the primary cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries (1). Tens of thousands of Texans suffer falls every year, resulting in millions of dollars in healthcare costs (2). Fall prevention programming, provider education, and policy advocating can help reduce falls in Texas and promote a better quality of life for all Texans.
Purpose & Key Steps
The Texas Falls Prevention Coalition is committed to expanding and promoting evidence-based fall prevention programming, effecting policy change, and unifying fall prevention efforts across the state.
In an effort to make our vision a reality, the TFPC is focusing its efforts in the following areas:
- Increase awareness of falls and prevention strategies
- Increase provider participation in fall prevention practices
- Increase funding opportunities and investments for fall prevention
- Enhance data surveillance collection, analysis, and system linkages
- Increase availability and accessibility of community programs and services