Prevention of Fall Injuries Across the Lifespan Team
Our Purpose: Establish and Facilitate Best Practices in Fall Prevention for Delawareans Across the Age Span
Why: Falls are THE leading cause of injury in the United States and a leading cause of death in the very young and the elderly. Statistics show:
- 2019 Data from NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and NSC (National Safety Council) showed Falls as a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in the workplace.
- In 2019, Unintentional Falls was the leading cause of nonfatal Emergency Department Visits. Over 8 million people were seen in the ED for falls.
- Nationally in 2010, Unintentional Falls Combined Medical and Work Lost Costs:
- Over $7 billion for fatal falls
- Over $94 billion for those hospitalized for falls
- Over $50 billion for Emergency Department Visits
Please choose from one of the following categories:
Fall Prevention Tips for Parents
Around the House
Senior Fall Prevention
Matter of Balance Classes
Fall Fact Sheet for Medical Professionals
Injury Prevention Tips
STEADI Program Explanation and Link
Move for Better Balance
National Council on Injury (NCOA)
Constituents at Risk
- The Leading Cause of Injury in the USA.
- A Leading Cause of DEATH in the USA for the Young and Old
- Occur Mainly in Children and 65+ Year Olds but ANYONE is at Risk
Parent Quick Tips:
- Babies and Toddlers:
- Beware of heights - do not leave children unattended on items such as a changing table or other furniture
- Put edge protectors on sharp furniture and fireplace corners
- Use safety belts in car seats, strollers, grocery carts, etc.
- Stairs: Keep them clear and use Safety Gates
- Windows: Keep them locked and screens in place
Senior Fall Prevention:
- Falls are the Leading Cause of Injuries and Injury-Related Deaths for Seniors
- Falls are PREVENTABLE
- Fear of Falling Can Lead to Depression, Isolation, and Falls
- Plan Ahead For What You Will Do If you Fall at Home
- Exercise Regularly (Tai Chi, Moving for Better Balance, Walking - Anything To Increase Strength and Practice Balance)
- Have a Doctor or Pharmacist Review Your Medications At Least Once a Year
- Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly
- Remove Tripping Hazards in Your Home
- Matter of Balance Classes are Free and Offered Throughout the State. Fall Prevention and Exercise Information is Taught.
- Home Safety and Fall Prevention Brochures from the CDC
- Fall Plan: Especially Important If You Live Alone
- Without a Plan, You Might Be On the Floor for Hours or Days
- Consider Whether You Need an Medical Alert System
- Consider Who You Can Contact and HOW You Might Contact Them – Especially If You Cannot Get Up
- Have Someone Check On You Daily Either By Phone Or In Person
- Think How You Might Stay Warm While You Wait For Help
- If You Are Not Injured, Learn How to Get Up Safely
- Prepare: Look around for a sturdy piece of furniture, or the bottom of a staircase. Do not try and stand on your own. Roll over onto your side by turning your head in the direction you are trying to roll, then move your shoulders, arm, hips, and finally your leg over.
- Rise: When you are ready to rise, push your body up. Lift your head up and pause for a few moments to steady yourself. Slowly get up on your hands and knees and crawl to a sturdy chair. Lastly, place your hands on the seat of the chair and slide one foot forward so it is flat on the floor.
- Sit: Keep the other leg bent with the knee on the floor. From this kneeling position, slowly rise and turn your body to sit in the chair. Sit for a few minutes before you try and do anything else.
- If You Are Injured, Seek Medical Attention
- IF YOU ARE ON A BLOOD THINNER: Contact Your Doctor Promptly, Especially If you Hit Your Head or Have Noticeable Swelling or Bruising. Go to an Emergency Department Immediately If You Have Nausea, Vomiting, Vision Change, Change in Your Alertness, Headache, or Neck Pain.
- Additional Resources:
Around the Home For All Ages:
- Have Clear Paths Around Furniture
- Use Slip Resistant Mats in Kitchen and Bathrooms
- Install Handrails on Stairs and Provide Extra Lighting
- Outside: Repair Uneven Surfaces on Sidewalks, Patios, Decks and Use Anti-slip Paint on Step
Ladder Do's and Dont's
- Do Not Use a Ladder When Intoxicated, Dizzy or Ill
- Do Not Use a Ladder in High Winds or Storms
- The Ladder Must Be The Right Size for the Job
- More Good Advice:
- Falls are a Leading Cause of Injury and Death and are PREVENTABLE!
- Based on CDC data, the average medical cost for unintentional fall-related death in 2010 is $38,925 per incident.
- CDC Data Shows that Nationally in 2014, There was a Cost of Fall Injury in People 65 years old and older of $50 billion on medical costs
- CDC Data showed Delaware’s Total Cost of Older Adult Falls in 2014 was $162,000,000.
- Delaware's Population of Seniors Is Projected To Become One of The Highest Nationally---Some Special Senior Facts:
- 1 out of 4 Older Adults Falls Each Year
- One out of every five falls causes an injury, such as broken bones or a head injury. these injuries make it hard to get around or live independently and increase risk of early death
- People Can Develop A Fear of Falling Which Leads to Limited Activity. This Leads to Decreased Mobility and Decreased Physical Fitness and An Increased Risk of Falling
Above Facts About Senior Falls are from the CDC
- Policies That Help Decrease Falls and Their Associated Sequela:
- Fiscally Support Primary Health Care Providers To Assess and Educate Their Senior-Aged Population on Fall Prevention
- Encourage Helmet/Protective Equipment Use in All Age Groups
- Support Home Safety Assessments and Modifications
- Promote Physical Activity
- The CDC Has Compiled a Compendium Of Effective Fall Prevention Programs For Community-Based Older Adults
Fall Prevention Team Members/Agencies:
- Christiana Care Health System’s Christiana Hospital
- Christiana Care Health System’s Wilmington Hospital
- Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
- Ingleside Retirement Apartments
- Disabled American Veterans
- Delaware Department of Aging
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