Session: Preventing Falls: Saving Lives, Saving Dollars
4203.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003: 2:30 PM-4:00 PM
Preventing Falls: Saving Lives, Saving Dollars
Falls among seniors are a major public health problem. Every day in California two older adults die from fall-related injuries. Many more suffer serious injuries such as hip fractures that often lead to disabilities, loss of independence, and/or institutionalization. Contrary to public perceptions that falls are an inevitable aspect of aging, many falls are potentially preventable. This session will include four presentations by experts addressing falls among seniors as a preventable public health problem. The first presentation will describe the extent of the problem in premature deaths, morbidity, diminished quality of life, and loss of independence, as well as costs to the health care system. Falls among seniors have identifiable risk factors, many of which can be modified by fall prevention/intervention programs. The second presentation will identify important risk factors that contribute to falls, including those that can be modified. Intervention strategies shown to reduce the risk of falls will also be identified. California has an infrastructure of senior services with many programs addressing falls among seniors. A third presentation will describe existing fall prevention programs in California and their intervention strategies. Recommendations for future actions will also be addressed. Home modification, converting or adapting the environment, is one strategy that, in combination with other fall prevention components, shows promise in preventing falls among seniors. The final presentation will describe home modification programs, barriers to implementation, and promising developments in the use of home modification strategies to prevent falls among seniors.
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the epidemiology of falls in the elderly 2. Understand the human and economic costs associated with falls in the elderly
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Moderator(s):Mary Ellen Kullman Courtright, MPH, CHES
2:30 PMCalifornia Infrastructure for Fall Prevention
Debra J. Rose, PhD
2:45 PMFall Prevention: State of the Art
Laurence Z. Rubenstein, MD, MPH
3:00 PMFall prevention: The public health imperative
Barbara Alberson, MPH
3:15 PMRole of Home Modification in Fall Prevention
Jon Pynoos, PhD
Organized by:Gerontological Health
Endorsed by:American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Caucus; Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of APHA; Chiropractic Health Care; Injury Control and Emergency Health Services; Medical Care
CE Credits:CME, Nursing, Pharmacy

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA