Geriatric Fall Prevention in Tarrant County




Weiser, Brent L.
Glogowski, Sarah B.
Rabbani, Tebyan A.
Fichuk, Sarah E.
Horn, Chelsea M.


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Purpose: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries amongst geriatrics, afflicting one out of three adults aged 65 and older.Due to falls, it is estimated that direct health care costs will increase from approximately 30 billion dollars in 2010 to 55 billion dollars by 2020. In addition to the physical impact, falls can also greatly affect the quality of life by increasing the fear of falling. This can diminish partaking in physical and social activities, further exacerbating feelings such as depression, helplessness, and social isolation. In Tarrant County, the geriatric mortality and hospitalization rates, due to fall-related injuries, exceed the Texas state average. These statistics demonstrate the need for increased community awareness and action on fall prevention. Methods: Our team consulted with local geriatricians regarding the clinical applications of fall prevention. We accessed a variety of national and local resources to compile data regarding falls as well as prevention programs within Tarrant County. In addition, we contacted community organizations for more information about the services their programs provide. Results: Through our research, we compiled a wide variety of local, free programs available for senior citizens in Tarrant County. These programs are directed at utilizing CDC suggested intervention methods such as patient education, strength and balance improvement, as well as preventative home modifications. The community resources identified include an in home fall risk assessment, group exercise classes, minor home repairs, and regular health screenings. Conclusions: There are a multitude of national and local organizations dedicated to fall prevention and identification of high-risk individuals. These services help senior citizens maintain their active and independent lifestyles, while minimizing the morbidity and mortality associated with falls.