Older Adult Falls

Unintentional falls among older adults are a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury in the U.S. and Kansas. Hospital costs associated with injuries sustained by falls account for a substantial share of healthcare dollars spent on injury-related care. In 2018, 376 Kansas residents ages 65 and older died and more than 27,899 fall injuries were treated in hospitals and emergency departments.

Quick Facts

  • Residents ages 65 and older account for 89.7% of all fall deaths and 75.8% of nonfatal fall hospitalizations in Kansas
  • In 2018, unintentional falls were the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Kansas residents ages 65 and older, accounting for 66.3% of TBI deaths and 82.6% of TBI hospitalizations
  • Projected lifetime costs associated with fall injuries in 2017 among Kansas residents ages 65 and older are estimated to be $635 million
  • Each week, there are 409 emergency department visits among residents ages 65 and older, 127 hospitalizations, and 7 deaths due to fall injuries in Kansas
  • In 2018, 60.9% of fall deaths among this age group occurred in the home, while 16% occurred in a residential facility such as a nursing home

Kansas Action to Prevent Older Adult Falls

Kansas conducts Stepping On Workshops. Stepping On is a high-level, evidence-based program proven to reduce falls and build confidence in older people. A community-based, small-group workshop, Stepping On was developed in Australia and tested in a randomized trial where it demonstrated a 31% reduction in falls. Wisconsin developed an American version of Stepping On with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that has been tested in the United States and shown to achieve a 50% reduction in falls. For more information, visit our Stepping On page.

For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Older Adult Fall Prevention page.

Additional Resources