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Arizona Healthy Aging (A-HA)

Falls and Injuries

Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.


Why are We Falling?

As an adult reaches an older age, their reflexes and physical responses start to slow. This results in lower balance and a decreased ability to prevent one’s self from tripping over obstacles or slipping on smooth surfaces. Furthermore, as lifestyles become less active, there is a decrease in leg strength necessary to support your body as you move.

Prevention of Falls

Many falls are predictable and preventable. It is possible to assess someone's risk for falls through established risk factors and physiological assessment. Targeting and modifying risk factors in those at high risk for falls has been shown to reduce their risk, injuries and number of subsequent falls. Comprehensive, multifactorial falls prevention has promise of reducing healthcare costs, maintaining independence and avoiding disability.

Activity is an essential component of comprehensive, multifactorial falls prevention as it builds balance, strength, stamina and coordination. The Arizona Department of Health Services Injury Prevention has recently published the Injury Surveillance and Prevention Plan for the State of Arizona (2006-2010) providing data describing the State's burden for falls.

Healthy Aging Communication Network (HACN) Information

Currently, the HACN supports meetings of the Governors Advisory Council on Aging's (GACA), Aging in Community Committee (AICC), which “is a new group that will look at the challenges facing older adults who wish to remain in their community of choice. This committee will continue the work of the Advisory Council to promote dignity and independence for all seniors through advocacy, collaboration, education and resource development. In 2015, AICC will have Subcommittees focused on Alzheimer’s disease (and related disorders) and a Transportation Subcommittee. AICC is aimed at a wider range of service providers, planners, agencies, and private citizens and will continue to consider social, health and workforce concerns as part of aging in community.”

The Costs of Falls