Health Statistics: the Falls among the Elderly

Introduction

Older adults represent one of the most vulnerable populations and require a lot of support. Statistic related to their health condition is critical because it provides an opportunity to define those areas, in which they need the most help, and provide it to reduce morbidity and mortality rates. One of the most frequent issues that lead to adverse outcomes among older adults is a fall (Ambrose, Paul, & Hausdorff, 2013).

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Due to their age, the representatives of this population find it difficult to move, lose balance, or cannot see where they go rather often. In addition to that, they tend to have weak a motor system that includes fragile bones (CDC, 2012). In order to prevent adverse outcomes, it is vital to reduce and prevent falls among the elderly. The criticality of this issue will be discussed further on the basis of statistical data obtained on national, state, and local levels.

National Level

Data Search Directions Summary of Findings
Identify the population of interest and health condition/event to your practice. Specify how you define the population (e.g. age, gender, health status, etc.). The population of interest includes older adults of both genders. These are mainly males and females who are 65 years of age and more. The health event discussed in this paper is a fall. Thus, it will be defined how frequent are falls among the older adults. Other characteristics of the population, such as marital status or financial condition and social status are not vital for research and do not have any direct influence on the results.
Summarize your search process. Specify what sources of health statistics were searched to find relevant health statistics. In order to find some trustworthy statistics about the falls among older adults on the national level, I have approached National Council on Aging. This source allows to find data relevant to the population of the whole country. In fact, it provides the information taken from the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that is highly valued by professionals.
Provide the health information obtained in the search. The most important information obtained from this source was that a quarter of all older adults in the USA falls every year, which leads to almost 3 million injuries and more than 27,000 deaths. What is more, they can result in “further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness” (NCOA, 2017, para. 2).
Interpret your findings and determine if there is any evidence of health disparities based on the population examined. The findings reveal that falls are typical for the elderly and they lead to adverse health outcomes and even death. It is interesting that no health disparities are discussed in the source, which means that they are similarly peculiar to all older adults regardless of their personal characteristics.

State Level

Data Search Directions Summary of Findings
Identify the population of interest and health condition/event to your practice. Specify how you define the population (e.g. age, gender, health status, etc.). The population of interest on the state level does not alter from the one discussed on the national level, and it includes older adults (people who are more than 65 years old) of both genders. The health event of interest is falling.
Summarize your search process. Specify what sources of health statistics were searched to find relevant health statistics. In order to obtain information required for this research, health statistics was approached on the website of New York State. The page of its Department of Health was targeted, in particular. The topic of the search was “falls in older adults”. In this framework, the population of interest only within this location was discussed.
Provide the health information obtained in the search. According to the health information obtained from this source, falls are the main cause of injuries, hospitalizations, and related deaths among older adults. It is stated that very day, because of a fall “2 older New Yorkers die; 140 older New Yorkers are hospitalized; 223 older New Yorkers are seen in Emergency Departments (ED)” (“Falls in older adults,” 2010, p. 1). What is more, the rate of mortality connected with this issue increased by 15%. It was identified that because of falls the majority of men die while females have hip fractures. In the majority of cases, falls took place at home.
Interpret your findings and determine if there is any evidence of health disparities based on the population examined. The findings obtained from the source show that in the NY state falls are not just one of the leading causes of related health problems and death, but the main one. In addition to that, alterations in fall outcomes between people of different ages are identified, which means that required interventions to improve the situation may be not the same. What is more, much attention should be paid to those preventive measures that can be applied at home.

Local Level

Data Search Directions Summary of Findings
Identify the population of interest and health condition/event to your practice. Specify how you define the population (e.g. age, gender, health status, etc.). The population and event of interest on the local level does not differ from the one discussed on the national and state levels, except for those limitations that deal with geographical location. Thus, individuals who are 65 years old and more are discussed, considering their health issues. In particular, the search is focused on fall rates among this population.
Summarize your search process. Specify what sources of health statistics were searched to find relevant health statistics. As it was critical to focus on the local situation related to the mentioned population and event, statistical information relevant to New York City was obtained. It was found on the official website of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Provide the health information obtained in the search. The most important information obtained in the search is that the fall rates among the elderly in New York City do not alter significantly within the last decade even thought the situation is expected to become much worse before 2030. Falls are also claimed to be the main cause of injuries and related hospitalizations. They lead to 217 deaths per 100,000 older adults. In addition to that, women are considered to be more vulnerable as they have fall-related emergency department visits more often than men (New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2012).
Interpret your findings and determine if there is any evidence of health disparities based on the population examined. The findings prove that for the New York state and city falls among the older adults are the main cause of hospitalization. They are also one of the major causes of mortality within the city. In addition to that, health disparities based on the gender differenced of the examined population are identified. Even though no information regarding health outcomes is mentioned, it seems that females tend to be more affected by falls than males because they consult a doctor more often.

References

Ambrose, A., Paul, G., & Hausdorff, J. (2013). Risk factors for falls among older adults: A review of the literature. The European Menopause Journal, 75(1), 51-61.

CDC. (2012). Falls among older adults: An overview. Web.

Falls in older adults. (2010). Web.

NCOA. (2017). Falls prevention facts. Web.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. (2012). Epi data brief. Web.

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