870 people in the state died from falling in 2016


The Washington Department of Health joined forces to release an action plan to help prevent elderly falls after 870 people died in 2016 from falling.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for adults ages 65 and older from 1990 to 2016, according to the DOH.

The DOH and Falls Prevention Coalition released a five-year action plan this month to help reduce falls in the elderly population.

“Falls are not a normal part of aging and most falls are preventable,” stated Secretary of Health John Wiesman in a press release. “There are concrete actions folks can take to reduce risk for falls, and this action plan – which was led by and with communities and providers from across the state – offers some of the clearest guidance yet to help reduce falls-related hospitalizations and death.”

According to the action plan, there are six areas listed in the Finding our Balance 2018 Washington State Action Plan for Older Adult Fall Prevention.

The areas are strong and effective community partnerships, public awareness and education, prevention across the continuum of care, expanded reach and access to evidence-based programs and community screenings, effective interventions for high-risk and underserved older adults, and improved safety in homes and communities.

“The plan also includes goals under each strategy area, and out come measures for falls-related deaths and hospitalizations,” the action plan stated.

Six workgroups – which will include members of the public – will carry out the plan in concert with the department and the coalition, the release stated.

For more information or to learn how to get involved, contact findingourbalance@doh.wa.gov.


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