Fall Prevention Among Older Adults

Goal

Decrease the number of fatal and non-fatal falls statewide in Hawaii by implementing evidenced based programs.

Magnitude of the Problem

Unintentional falls were by far the leading cause of injury-related mortality among senior-aged (65 years and older) residents of Hawaii, accounting for nearly half (49%) of all such deaths. There was an average of 114 fatal falls among senior residents from 2013-2017, but there was a 48% increase over that 5-year period, from 88 to 130. Nonfatal injuries treated in hospitals also increased consistently, reaching a projected 10,000 in 2017. Falls were also the leading cause of nonfatal injuries among senior residents, accounting for 61% of those treated in emergency departments (ED) and 83% of those requiring hospitalization. Most (81%) of the deaths occurred among Oahu seniors, who also had the highest age-adjusted fatality rates, significantly higher than the rates for residents of Hawaii or Kauai counties. Senior residents of Kauai had the highest rates for nonfatal injuries treated in hospitals. Each ED visit resulted in an average of $3,230 in hospital charges, and each hospitalization $42,750, resulting in over $100 million in combined hospital charges each year.

Long-Term Indicators

Mortality and morbidity of Hawaii residents only: County & Totals, annual number and rate (/100,000)

Mortality

SMART Objective: Decrease the 5-year Falls related mortality rate among Hawaii Residents from 36.45/100,000 in 2013-2017 to 32.80/100,000 by 2018-2022


Morbidity

SMART Objective: Decrease the 5-year Falls related morbidity rate among Hawaii Residents from 9119.40/100,000 in 2013-2017 to 8,207/100,000 by 2018-2022

Annual Fatal and Nonfatal Trends



Recommended Strategies

The Emergency Medical Service and Injury Prevention System Branch (EMSIPSB) places a priority on having injury prevention strategies recommended by a community-driven action plan or informed by key implementing partners. Because a multitude of factors influence individual behavior, the strategies in the below table target risk and protective factors, framed across the individual, relationship, community, and policy levels.

Key Partners

  • Hawaii State Fall Prevention Consortium