About one-third of adults ages 65 and older fall in their home which results in injury, long-term disability and premature institutionalization, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
By 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the cost for these kinds of injures will total nearly $60 billion. In order to reduce these costs, HUD released a report recommending a more holistic approach to seniors aging in place and their health needs.
HUD released its report, Overcoming Obstacles to Policies for Preventing Falls by the Elderly, during National Healthy Homes month, which recommends government and philanthropic organizations work together at every level to integrate fall prevention strategies and support efforts to aging-in-place.
“Active programs that coordinate senior care and implement fall prevention strategies can benefit seniors enormously,” said Jon Gant, director of the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. “This report helps policymakers and program managers to identify the causes of problems they may encounter, as well as the resources and methods they can use to overcome them.”
HUD’s report also highlights these four key areas to improve services and care to seniors:
- Why senior falls prevention and coordinated care is an important issue for the nation and what some communities are doing to meet the needs of seniors
- What partners and stakeholders should be engaged, what each can offer to this effort, and why a holistic approach may provide the best potential
- What financial resources, from all levels of government to health insurers and philanthropies, may be available to help create and sustain effective policies and programs
- How to sustain policies and programs over the long-term
“Most people want to stay in our homes and communities as we age,” said Noreen Beatley of Healthy Housing Solutions, the report's author. “Strong fall prevention programs help achieve that goal while lowering healthcare costs and helping improving seniors' quality of life.”