Fast facts: In Baltimore injuries from falls cost $60M annually; fall rates are 20% higher and hospitalization rates are 55% higher statewide average.
Baltimore City will launch an initiative to reduce falls as well as the high costs and hospitalizations that result from them. A key part of the initiative will focus on education and prevention for older adults. The goal is to reduce the rate of falls by 20% over the next 10 years.
It’s not just about cost — it’s about health. 25% of seniors who fall and break their hips will die within a year. Many of those who survive may no longer be able to care for themselves #seniorfalls pic.twitter.com/2uwol1UQJU
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) April 16, 2018
As announced by the Baltimore City Health Department:
The public health falls prevention strategy will focus on three major components: mapping where falls are occurring throughout the City using near real-time hospital data; targeting fall prevention activities in ‘hotspots’—the areas of high fall numbers and rates; and educating the general public that falls are preventable and resources are available.
In Baltimore City, nearly 5,000 older adults visited the ED last year due to a fall. Falls-related ED visits in Baltimore City are more than 20% higher than the statewide average, and the city’s rate of falls-related hospitalizations is 55% greater than the state’s. The average cost of a hospitalization due to a fall is $39,000, or $60 million annually in Baltimore City.
“Our Citywide strategy uses innovative, evidence-based methods to go to where people are, by using science to map out where falls are occurring, providing holistic services such as help with medications and housing interventions, and educating residents on how to prevent falls,” said Dr. Leana Wen. “The Baltimore City Health Department is glad to convene partners across all sectors and lead this collective impact strategy to improve health. I thank Mayor Pugh for her steadfast leadership and for being such a tremendous advocate for our seniors.”
For more information:
Baltimore City Officials Announce Citywide Falls Prevention Strategy for Older Adults (Baltimore City Health Department)