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California Blueprint for Fall Prevention

July 2, 2012 Jeff APHM Featured

California Blueprint for Fall Prevention

 Last 2004 experts in health and housing came up with a whitepaper that was titled “ California Blueprint for Fall Prevention”. This White Paper provides background information on the state-of-the-art, best practices for fall prevention. They strongly believe that fall prevention for older adults is an important statewide priority that must occur in the home, community and healthcare settings.

They came up with these major findings and one of the three state of the art solutions is modifying one’s home. (installing grab bars, widening doors, removing clutters, removing threshold, building a walk-in shower, installing ramps etc.)

 Older Californians sustain serious and costly falls each year

 • California has the largest elderly population of any state in the USA, with over 3.8 million Californians age 65 and older. (2002)

 • The risk of fall injury increases dramatically with age. The rate among Californians over age 85 is 57 times higher than Californians aged 20-55 years. Citizens over age 85 are the fastest growing segment of the California population.

 • Approximately one-third of older Californians fall each year, with many of the 1.3 million suffering serious injury, particularly hip fractures and head injuries.

 • It is estimated that 213,000 visit the emergency room and more than 60,000 are


 • The estimated total cost of fall injuries per year in California is more than $3.5 billion.

 • More than 40% of those hospitalized for hip fractures never return home or live

independently again and 25% will die within one year.

 • The average estimated medical cost of a senior fall-related hospitalization in California is $30,000.

 • There are ten hospitalizations caused by falls for every hospitalization of a senior Californian caused by a traffic accident.

 • On average, every day in California, two older adults die from fall-related injuries.

The majority of falls can be prevented through proven methods


• Appropriate risk assessment and follow up by healthcare practitioners


• Exercise, strength training and flexibility aimed at reducing falls


• Environmental or Home modifications, such as removing clutters, building ramps, removing door thresholds and installing grab bars.

California Blueprint for Fall Prevention,