Fall Prevention Coalition – Los Angeles (FPC-LA)
Taking Action to Stop Falls
Falls are a significant public health problem that affects 1 in 3 older adults every year. In LA County in 2011, over 20,000 adults age 65+ were hospitalized for falls, each costing an average of $64,600. Falls have devastating personal costs for older adults and their family, often leading to decreased functioning, a fear of falling that limits activities, and even death. Many people think falls are an inevitable part of aging, but research shows that falls can be reduced by 30 – 40% with appropriate fall risk assessment, home modifications, and exercise.
The Fall Prevention Center of Excellence, housed at the University of Southern California, is a consortium of the USC Andrus Gerontology Center, the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, the California Department of Public Health, the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and California State University Fullerton’s Center for Successful Aging. One of its many projects to reduce the risk of falls among older adults is the Fall Prevention Coalition-Los Angeles (FPC-LA).
FPC-LA is a coalition of diverse organizations initially funded by the Kaiser Foundation to reduce fall risk for older adults through education, advocacy, planning, and community action across Los Angeles County. FPC-LA members include representatives from public, private, and non-profit organizations, health professionals, senior service providers, and balance and physical activity instructors.
FPC-LA Major Accomplishments
- Conducted research to identify LA’s greatest fall prevention (FP) needs and created strategic plans to reduce falls
- Identified fall hotspots where older people fall at high rates to help target programs and limited resources
- Conducted a Walkability Workshop in the Fairfax District to highlight hazards such as uneven sidewalks and unsafe street crossings that make it dangerous for older people and discuss possible solutions
- Translated 6 FP handouts into Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and created low-vision versions to reach LA’s diverse older population; all handouts can be found here
- Developed FP presentation for older adults that is being used by the Department of Public Health Speakers Bureau; to request a presentation, click here
- Created The Falling Monologues, an award-winning educational video series created and performed by older adults to raise awareness about FP, shown on Channel 35’s Aging Well in LA program (Episode #157) and online
- For Fall Prevention Awareness Week (FPAW), obtained 6 City Council and County Board of Supervisors Proclamations and distributed over 45,000 handouts, posters, and placemats at senior centers and meal sites
- Hosted an FPAW community event with presentations and resource tables, attended by over 120 older adults, caregivers, and providers; of 96 health screenings, 40% were identified as high fall risk and 34 referrals were made