About falls among older adults in New York City
Each year, one in three older adults (65 years and older) falls. Among New York City’s older adults, there are approximately 30,500 emergency department (ED) visits, 16,600 hospitalizations, and 300 deaths each year. Falls are not a normal part of aging, and research shows that many falls can be prevented.
Falls and the environment
Although falls can occur anywhere, falls among older adults frequently happen at home. More than one-half of fall-related hospitalizations among older adults were due to falls in the home. There are many risk factors for falls among older adults including previous falls, gait or balance problems, and use of multiple medications that interact with one another or cause side effects. Physical features of the environment can also put seniors at risk. Common fall risks hazards in homes include slippery surfaces, inadequate lighting, and tripping hazards, such as clutter, loose rugs, or uneven flooring.
About the data and indicators
Falls indicators presented on this site are derived from administrative emergency department (ED) and hospitalization billing records from the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS). Fall-related ED visits and hospitalizations are identified using diagnostic codes from the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, Clinical Modification, as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s external cause-of-injury matrix and using diagnostic information from any diagnosis field. Place of injury codes for these ED visits and hospitalizations allow for identification of falls that have occurred in the home. Data are based on address of the patient, not the address where the fall occurred. Only falls resulting in outcomes severe enough to require treatment in the hospital ED or an inpatient stay are included; falls resulting in no health outcomes or outcomes treated outside of a NYC hospital are not captured. ED visit counts include treated and released visits, and hospitalization counts include only live discharges. ED visits and hospitalizations include NYC residents aged 65 years and older discharged from a NYC hospital.
To help prevent falls, older adults should:
- Stay physically active to strengthen muscles and improve balance
- Remove slip and trip hazards in the home, such as throw rugs, electrical cords or other clutter
- Improve lighting in and around the home
- Ask building owner, landlord, or super to make all necessary home repairs, and install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet
- Ask doctor, nurse, and/or pharmacist to review all medicines
- Talk with doctors about previous falls and prevention strategies
We’ve all seen her posters for the election. Now a new variation has come out where you can schedule a listening time with the Democratic candidate for City Council 9, Kristin Jordan: