ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Falls present a real and growing risk to older adults’ health and independence – and to their very lives. Yet, many falls can be prevented. Today the National Council on Aging (NCOA) released the 2015 Falls Free® National Falls Prevention Action Plan – a blueprint describing what the nation can do to reduce the growing number of falls and falls-related injuries among older adults.
One in three Americans aged 65+ falls every year. In 2013, more than 25,000 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries, and more than 2.5 million nonfatal injuries were treated in emergency rooms.
“The National Action Plan envisions older adults experiencing fewer falls and fall-related injuries, maximizing their independence and quality of life,” said Kathleen Cameron, Director of NCOA’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center. “The purpose of the plan is to implement specific strategies and action steps to reduce falls among older adults over the next five to 10 years.”
The plan’s recommendations are a roadmap for a collaborative, comprehensive, and coordinated effort to reduce falls among older adults. The goals, strategies, and action steps focus on several falls risk factors and cross-cutting challenges, including:
- Physical mobility
- Medications management
- Home safety
- Environmental safety in the community
- Funding and reimbursement
- Expansion of evidence-based falls prevention programs
- Public awareness and education
- Public policy and advocacy
NCOA’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center is leading the effort to disseminate the plan to an array of stakeholders from the public and private sectors with an interest in healthy aging and the capacity to implement the action steps. It also will be disseminated to professionals in the health care and aging fields, federal and state agencies, professional associations, consumer and caregiver organizations, state and local falls prevention coalitions, corporations, and foundations.
“This is a call to action, a way to initiate collaboration among multiple stakeholders, and a guide for implementing an effective coordinated approach to preventing older adult falls,” said Cameron. “NCOA’s Resource Center is poised to educate and engage various sectors, partners, and stakeholders to implement specific action steps in the National Action Plan.”
The 2015 updated plan builds on the original Falls Free® National Action Plan, released in 2005, and is the product of key recommendations and evidence-based strategies identified by experts during the Falls Prevention Summit, a White House Conference on Aging event in April 2015.
Support for the Falls Prevention Summit and publication of the 2015 Falls Free® National Falls Prevention Action Plan was provided by Archstone Foundation and Walmart.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.