Online Program

Falls Prevention for Older Adults in the District of Columbia

Monday, November 2, 2015

Peggy Keller, MPH, CPM, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Administration, District of Columbia Department of Health, Washington, DC
Nick Kushner, MPIA, MURP, District of Columbia Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, Washington, DC

DC Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Service, DOH protect the public health, safety of residents, visitors, including unique challenges of older adults, through an all hazards preparedness and response approach to mitigate public health and healthcare impacts.    

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to falls that can result in moderate to severe injuries.  Per recently acquired data for 2013, 66% of accidental deaths were due to “blunt injuries due to falls".  Falls are generally preventable. 

Purpose & Objectives

DMHHS, DOH seek to decrease falls among older adults by taking a proactive planning approach, including data compilation, robust communications, key technologies, partnerships and evaluation. 


DMHH and DOH partnered with Fire and Emergency Medical Services, community and healthcare organizations to identify problems and risks and develop strategies and mitigation plans to reduce falls in older adults that have a negative impact on the public health and healthcare system.   Project team developed fall prevention training and identifiedfor Older Adults  those at risk.      

Measurable Objectives

Community, healthcare organization partners identified, data compiled, communications, mitigation plan completed, training program developed, older adults trained, results after fall prevention training.


DMHHS, DOH staff identified those most at risk of falls, severe, negative health impacts.   Decreased risk of falls, increased ability to age in place, reduced stress on the health care system.     


Older adults were trained in fall prevention strategies, able to age in place and resilient. 


DC addresses needs of older adults to reduce risks of injury- related death and disability due to falls.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe falls prevention strategies for older adults in the District of Columbia

Keyword(s): Aging, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I lead the implementation of the Age-Friendly DC initiative and was involved in the crafting of these strategies. I work closely with the partner agencies mentioned in these efforts and act as a hub for coordination. I have been involved in trying to bring balance classes to DC and implementing a train the trainer approach to strength and balance training. I have also had conversations with other jurisdictions with innovative falls prevention approaches.
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.