203533 Texas Falls Prevention Coalition: Mobilizing Falls-Prevention through the Area Agencies on Aging

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:15 AM

Reuben Parrish, MPH, CHES , Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area Council of Governments, Texas Falls Prevention Coalition Coordinator, Austin, TX
Glenda Rogers , AAA Director, Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area Council of Governments, Austin, TX
Debbie Billa , AAA Director, Area Agency on Aging of the Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX
Doni Van Ryswyk , AAA Director, Area Agency on Aging of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington, TX
Marcia Gail Ory, PhD, MPH , Prevention Research Center, Texas A&M University System, College Station, TX
Background: In the next 40 years, nearly seven and a half million adults over 60 will live in Texas. As the population ages, the number of adults at risk of falling is expected to increase. The Texas Association on Area Agencies on Aging (T4A) recently initiated a statewide effort to prevent falls to help reduce hospitalizations and deaths attributed to falls in older adults.

Purpose: Describe the development of a Texas statewide coalition to prevent falls and discuss essential components of this effort.

Methods: T4A initiated the Texas Falls Prevention Coalition (TFPC) in 2007 to serve as the primary mechanism to coordinate statewide implementation of the evidence-based A Matter of Balance- Volunteer Lay Leader program and promote wider falls prevention awareness. A Matter of Balance master training sessions, volunteer lay leader trainings and courses were disseminated in urban and rural settings to build infrastructure.

Results: Twenty-four of 28 AAA's are now participating in this coalition, covering 216 counties throughout Texas. Key partners include representatives from the aging services network, state government, health care industry, and public health academia. Four master trainings were conducted and 119 participant classes held. A broad mission statement was created to mobilize efforts. Promotional materials were developed to raise falls awareness across the state, and a statewide coalition planning meeting has been established to prioritize fall prevention activities.

Conclusion: A statewide falls prevention coalition needs to be comprehensive, supporting evidence-based programs, and soliciting programmatic and policy priorities from key stakeholders at statewide meetings.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the strategic development of a Statewide coalition to prevent falls. Describe promotional materials designed to raise falls awareness across the state. Discuss outcomes and future directions of the statewide coalition.

Keywords: Aging, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the coordinator of the Texas Falls Prevention Coalition.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.