New Mexico Falls Prevention
Every 29 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Every 15 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall-related injury.
In New Mexico:
- Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death, emergency room visits, and hospitalization among adults 65 years and older.
- In 2012, the older adult fall related death rate was the 7th highest among all states and was about two times higher than the national rate.
- The 2010 NM Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reports 18.7 percent of adults 75+ had fallen at least once during the previous 90 days, and 35,400 adults 65+ reported a fall-related injury.
- In 2011, only 25.8 percent of adults 65+ hospitalized for a fall-related injury were discharged to home.
Myths of Older Adult Falls
Falls are not a natural part of aging and many can be prevented! Some of the false beliefs surrounding aging and falls are as follows:
Myth: “As long as I stay home, I can avoid falling.”
Reality: Over half of all falls take place at home.
Myth: “Muscle strength and flexibility cannot be regained.”
Reality: While we do lose muscle as we age, exercise can partially restore strength and flexibility.
If you are concerned about falls for yourself or a family member, learn more about the risks and prevention by clicking the Seniors/Family tab.
New Mexico Adult Falls Prevention Coalition
Through evidence-based interventions, practical lifestyle changes and community partnerships, we can substantially reduce the number of falls among older adults. New Mexico is part of the national Falls Free® Initiative, which includes more than 40 states and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies across the country dedicated to reducing fall-related injuries and deaths among older adults. For more information, please visit: www.ncoa.org/FallsFreeInitiative.Download the Falls Free Initiative Fact Sheet on Falls in New Mexico (PDF document)
Ready, Steady, Balance!
The 10th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD) will be observed on September 22, 2017—the first day of fall. In honor of this notable milestone, the theme of the event will be 10 Years Standing Together to Prevent Falls. The event raises awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.
The 9th annual FPAD was observed on September 22, 2016. The theme was Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016. Since Falls Prevention Awareness Day was first observed in 2008, we have grown participation in the event from 11 states to 48 states and the District of Columbia. See more at the National Countil on Aging website.
Falls Prevention Strategic Plan Now Available
While falls are a public health problem nationally, they are of particular concern in New Mexico. In 2014, New Mexico ranked 9th in the country for fall-related deaths, and over 3,500 of its older adults were hospitalized as a result of a fall. The New Mexico Adult Falls Prevention Coalition has released the Strategic Plan for 2016-2020, detailing goals and objectives for fall prevention in the state. Download a copy at this link