Slips and Falls: The Facts

Nationally

  • "Are you at risk of falling?" One in three older adults experience a fall each year in the United States.
  • Every 18 seconds an older adult is in the emergency room because of a fall.
  • Every 35 minutes a person 65 and older dies due to a fall.
  • Falls are the #1 cause of injury-related deaths for people over the age of 65.
  • Falls cause significant debilitating injury and loss of independence.

Colorado

  • Colorado has fall-related death rates that are significantly above the U.S. Average.
  • Over 350 Coloradans age 65 or older die each year due to a fall and over 10,000 are hospitalized for fall-related injuries. Information obtained from 2000-2001 shows that older adults that were injured from a fall in a home, only 27% returned to their home after hospitalization. Half required ongoing care in a skilled nursing facility.
  • In Colorado, costs for older adults hospitalized due to a fall totaled more than $263 million each year.
  • For more facts about falls in Colorado click here.
  • To take a fall prevention survey please click here

Denver Metro Area

  • "IS THERE A KILLER LURKING?" Recent figures show that on average more than 4,500 Denver metro area residents age 65 and older are hospitalized each year with fall-related injuries.
  • Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths.
  • Approximately 175 older adults die each year from a fall in the Denver metro area.
  • For more facts about falls in the Denver metro area click here.
  • Facts by county in the Denver metro area click here.

Sources of Data:

How to Prevent Falls

Many falls are devastating for older adults. Falls can cause serious injury that threatens independence or can even result in death. It is a common misconception that falling is a natural part of aging and that there is nothing you can do to prevent falls. Fortunately, falling doesn’t have to be a part of getting older. Despite being labeled “accidents,” many falls are preventable.

There are several things that you can do to reduce your fall risk. Research has shown the best way to prevent falls is through a combination approach - that is, taking a few simple steps to effectively reduce fall risk. The most common include a combination of the following:

Local Resources

Fall Prevention Services

Denver metro area residents have access to the Fall Prevention Network (FPN), a non-profit service that connects older adults to fall prevention services. The FPN can connect you with a network of service providers that offer one or more of the following:

  1. Physical activity programs to improve mobility, agility and balance
  2. Home safety checks and modifications
  3. Medication reviews
  4. Vision services

To request referrals for fall prevention services click here or call 303-922-5555 during business hours. Falls are preventable. Call before you fall.

Educational Presentations

The Fall Prevention Network offers free presentations to older adults throughout the Denver metro area. Participants will learn fall prevention tips from a multi-disciplinary team of professionals. This includes four important steps to reduce the risk of falling and resources available through the Fall Prevention Network that can help. Participants will also receive a free resource packet (while supplies last). To learn more click here or call 303-922-5555.

Matter of Balance

A Matter of Balance is an award-winning program that can help reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity level of older adults who have concerns about falling. Class consists of eight two-hour sessions where participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable and where they practice exercises that increase strength and balance. Participants include adults, aged 60 and older, who are ambulatory and able to problem-solve.

Satisfaction with A Matter of Balance is high. After completing the class, 97% of participants reported that they are more comfortable talking about fear of falling, feel comfortable increasing their activity levels, and would recommend A Matter of Balance.

A Matter of Balance classes are held throughout the metro-Denver area. For more information, please contact MatterofBalance@tchd.org or 720-200-1572.

National Materials/Resources

Center of Excellence info and resources

Fall Prevention

This section was developed in response to escalating public health concerns around falls and fall-related injuries among older adults. It also was inspired by the challenges of providing easily accessible and useful information to the public and the County of San Diego Aging and Independence Services' commitment to responding to the needs of the community and empowering individuals and the community to make safe and healthy living choices.

The goal of this section is to collect and make accessible existing best-practice information and local resources around fall prevention for those who could benefit most: older adults and persons with disabilities, their caregivers, physicians, and other health and social service providers.

Resource Guide

Videos

"Don't Fall for It" (10 Minutes)
the short version provides a brief overview of the problem, common risk factors and simple steps anyone can take to lower their risk of falling.

"Don't Fall for It" (28 Minutes)
the long version describes the above information in more detail and highlights the personal stories of three elderly individuals.

Spanish version of "Don't Fall for It" (14 Minutes)
this version provides an overview of the problem, common risk factors and simple steps anyone can take to lower their risk of falling.

Other Resources

National Institute on Aging Resources

Facts, General Information and Research

Although resources in this section have been selectively chosen, it is a work in progress and we recognize that not all available resources are included. Please contact us with comments, questions or suggestions for additional resources to help make this site as comprehensive and user-friendly as possible.


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