The cost of falls has risen dramatically in recent years. An article by CDC authors in the Journal of Safety Research, titled “The direct costs of fatal and non-fatal falls among older adults – United States” has updated the estimated cost of falls for 2015.
In 2015, the Medicare costs for non-fatal falls were over $31 billion. This is on par with cancer, which had Medicare costs of $36 billion that same year. The average cost of a fatal fall was over $26,000 and the average cost of a non-fatal fall was nearly $10,000.
Fall injuries and deaths are expected to continue to rise as more than 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day. Within the next 15 years, the U. S. population of older Americans is anticipated to increase more than 50%, with the total number of older adults rising to 74 million by 2030. The costs of falls will surge unless preventive measures are adopted.
Fortunately, preventive measures exist that, when implemented, can reduce the risk of falls. CDC’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries, or STEADI initiative, provides resources for clinicians on how to make fall prevention part of their routine care for older Americans. The STEADI initiative is based on the American and British Geriatrics Societies’ guidelines on fall risk assessment and follow-up. STEADI includes information on how to screen for fall risk, review and optimize medications that can increase fall risk, and recommend vitamin D supplements.
CDC & Older Adult Falls
CDC is working to make fall prevention a routine part of clinical care through its STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents Deaths & Injuries) initiative. Falls are not an inevitable part of aging. Specific steps can be taken within the clinical setting to help safeguard older American’s independence.
Spread the Word
- New Journal of Safety Research article updates the cost of older adult falls for 2015. Fatal falls cost over $637 million in direct medical costs, while the total Medicare costs of non-fatal falls were over $31 billion. http://bit.ly/2bCz2sY
- STEADI online training with professional continuing education now available for doctors, nurses, health educators, certified public health professionals and others. Help make #STEADI part of your clinical practice. www.cdc.gov/steadi.