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Preventing Falls Among Older Adults

Unintentional falls are a threat to the lives, independence and health of adults ages 65 and older. Every 18 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency department for a fall, and every 35 minutes someone in this population dies as a result of their injuries.

Although one in three older adults falls each year in the United States, falls are not an inevitable part of aging. There are proven strategies that can reduce falls and help older adults live better and longer.

The following materials give an overview of the problem of older adult falls and how they can be prevented. 

Fact Sheets

Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview
This fact sheet gives an overview of the problem of falls among older adults in the United States. You will also find prevention tips and links to resources developed by CDC.

Costs of Falls Among Older Adults
This fact sheet describes the costs of falls among older adults - more than $19 billion annually – and includes information on how these costs are calculated and distributed.

Hip Fractures Among Older Adults
More than 90% of hip fractures among adults 65 and older are the result of a fall. This sheet provides information on the number of hip fractures, groups at risk, and prevention tips.

Falls in Nursing Homes
Falls are more common in nursing homes than in the overall community. You can learn about the extent of falls in nursing homes, their causes, and some prevention strategies.

CDC Fall Prevention Activities
This page highlights CDC-sponsored projects aimed at preventing falls among older adults.


Two brochures, developed by CDC and redesigned in partnership with the CDC Foundation and MetLife Foundation, provide steps that older adults and those who care for them can take to reduce the risk of falls and related injuries. Both are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

What YOU Can Do to Prevent Falls
Highlights four key strategies for preventing falls.

Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults
Lists things to check for and fix in the home to reduce the risk of falls.


Four posters were developed in partnership with the CDC Foundation and MetLife Foundation. Each highlights one of four key strategies for preventing older adult falls. All are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.


Resources for Practitioners and Community-Based Organizations

Preventing Falls: What Works A CDC Compendium of Effective Community-based Interventions from Around the World

This compendium is designed for public health practitioners and community-based organizations. It describes 14 scientifically tested and proven interventions.


Preventing Falls: How to Develop Community-based Fall Prevention Programs for Older Adults

This “how to” guide is designed for community-based organizations who are interested in developing their own effective fall prevention programs.


Figures and Maps

Figures and maps depict statistics about fall-related deaths and injuries. See trends in fall-related death and nonfatal injury rates and compare death rates by sex and by state.


Downloadable podcasts from CDC’s Injury Center are available on topics including older adult fall prevention, poisoning prevention, teen driving safety and Injury Center research findings, programs and activities.


Websites About Older Adults and Falls

Looking for more information? Click on the links below for other organizations working to prevent older adult falls.

American Association of Retired Persons - An organization for people 50 and older that provides information and education, advocacy, and community services through a national network of local chapters and experienced volunteers. *

Gerontological Society of America - A multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the scientific study of aging and to the translation and dissemination of research for practice and policy. *

Home Safety Council - A national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing home-related injuries. *

National Council on Aging - An advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and independence of older persons and to increasing their contributions to communities, society, and future generations. *

National Institute on Aging (NIA) - One of the National Institutes of Health, the NIA promotes healthy aging by conducting and supporting biomedical, social, and behavioral research and public education.

National Osteoporosis Foundation - A voluntary, nonprofit health organization and resource for information about the causes, prevention, and treatment of osteoporosis, a risk factor for fall-related fractures. *

National Resource Center for Safe Aging – The Center gathers and shares information and resources on senior safety with public health professionals, older adults, and their families. *

National Safety Council - A nonprofit, nongovernmental, international public service organization dedicated to protecting life and promoting health. *

U.S. Administration on Aging - The Administration works to raise awareness among other federal agencies, organizations, groups, and the public about both the contributions and needs of older Americans. It also informs older people and their caregivers about the benefits and services available to help them.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission - The federal regulatory agency that protects the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths from consumer products.

* Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

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Content Source: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
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