Senior Falls Prevention
Falls and the injuries that result from them contribute to a pressing health issue in our nation, our state, and our Island County community. Harborview Injury Prevention Research Institute (HIPRC) relates that:
Older Adult Falls: A Pressing Issue in Island County
Island County's median age is about 17% higher than the U.S. and WA State median.
Throughout 2021 and 2022, falls were the leading cause of emergency department visits at WhidbeyHealth.
From May 2021 to May 2022, there were 868 visits by Island County residents to the emergency department at WhidbeyHealth, coded as "Falls 65+"
From May 2021 to May 2022, there were 739 visits by Island County residents to all other emergency departments across WA, coded as "Falls 65+"
Rates of 65+ falls are higher for Camano Island residents than Whidbey Island residents.
Steps to Prevent Falls
As Island County's older adult population continues to expand, it is important for community members to be aware of the steps that they can take to prevent falls. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists four simple ways to prevent falls:
- Have your healthcare provider review your medicines
- Exercise to improve your balance and strength
- Have your eyes and feet checked
Make your home safer
STEADI Initiative for Health Care Providers
The STEADI initiative, curated by the CDC, provides a set of materials for health care providers to draw upon when screening and assessing patients with high fall risks and intervening in the treatment of these individuals. The STEADI toolkit contains information about the following topics: