Health Indicator Report of Injury - Older Adult Falls Hospitalization
Falls are the leading cause of unintentional (accidental) injury death among adults aged 65 years and older in the United States and in New Mexico. The majority of fall-related injury deaths among older adults involve hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. A decrease in bone density also increases the likelihood of serious injury from falls. Non-fatal injuries from a fall can limit the mobility and also result in non-independent living for many older adults. Falls among older adults are associated with an increased risk of future fall-related injury associated premature death. Many people who fall develop a fear of falling and may become more sedentary, further increasing their risk for another fall. Most falls are not a normal part the normal aging process and are preventable.
Fall-related Hospitalizations among Adults 65+ Years of Age by County, New Mexico, 2017
- Hospital Inpatient Discharge Data, New Mexico Department of Health.
- Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program, http://gps.unm.edu/.
DefinitionThe number of hospitalizations for unintentional injury due to falls in persons age 65 years or older per 10,000 population
NumeratorThe number of hospitalizations for unintentional injury due to falls in persons age 65 years or older
DenominatorThe mid-year estimated population of adults age 65 or more years
How Are We Doing?Falls hospitalizations for adults aged 65 years and old has been increasing from 2014-2016, with the 2016 rate being 152 hospitalizations per 10,000 population.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury death among adults 65 years of age and older in the United States and New Mexico. The older adult fall-related death rate in New Mexico was 91.6/100,000 in 2016, which was 52% higher than the national rate (60.2/100,000).
Evidence-based PracticesHow can older adults prevent falls*? Exercise regularly to increase strength and balance. The NMDOH currently supports four evidence-based falls prevention programs and Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries (STEADI) as a clinical intervention. Most falls happen at home, where safety hazards can include rugs that are torn or do not lie flat, stairs that are in poor repair, broken or no handrails for stairs, poor lighting, and clutter on floors or in walkways. Effective strategies for preventing falls among older adults include annual screenings and any necessary follow-up for strength and balance issues; physical activity that serves to maintain strength and balance and to increase mobility; home safety modifications to reduce hazards; periodic reviews and management of all medications that have been associated with an increased risk of falling; and annual vision checks.
Page Content Updated On 01/18/2019, Published on 01/22/2019