USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
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Did you know?

  • Falls are the number one cause of injury, hospital visits, and death from an injury among people age 65 and older.
  • Each year 1 out of 3 older adults will experience a fall.
  • 20% of older people who break a hip from falling die within a year of their injury.
  • Falls are not inevitable.

The Falling Monologues are a series of stories reflecting the thoughts, emotions, and lessons learned by some older adults after they’ve fallen, developed as a creative approach to spark interest and start discussion about fall prevention. Written and directed by Marilyn Faber, the performances are accompanied by commentary from Emily Nabors and Anna Nguyen of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence and Fall Prevention Coalition – Los Angeles (FPC-LA).

To view each monologue separately, watch the Falling Monologues on YouTube



The Falling Monologues were recognized with a Silver Award in the 2012 National Health Information Awards for Health Promotion/Disease and Injury Prevention.

Click here for the news release


Aside from having a viewing, what else can I do with The Falling Monologues?

  • Distribute fall prevention handouts in multiple languages on topics such as home modification, preventing outdoor falls, assistive devices, and talking with your doctor about falls and discuss how they relate to the topics presented in the Monologues 
  • Encourage discussion about each monologue and how it relates to individuals who viewed it. Example topics and discussion questions:
    • What did you learn from the Monologues that you could do to reduce your risk of falling?
    • What can you do to reduce the risk of falling in your bathroom?
    • What is “fear of falling”?  Have you ever felt this way?
    • Have you participated in a class that helps increase balance? How was it?
    • Foster discussion about assistive walking devices like canes and walkers between those who use them and those who may benefit from them but are hesitant to use them.
    • If you were the woman in “The Ladder,” what would you do to safely change the burnt out light?
    • What are some things you learned from the man in “The Sidewalk” that could help you safely walk outdoors?
  • Describe the services your organization provides that help reduce the risk of falling (e.g., vision services, medication management, physical activity, home modification, physical or occupational therapy)
  • Host a fall prevention event and invite local vendors and agencies to share free fall prevention resources

What others are saying about The Falling Monologues

“The Monologues are important since they feature seniors talking about actual experiences that other seniors can relate to.  Falls are a major cause of serious injuries and hospitalization among the senior population and it is important that we continue to seek fresh and innovative ways to disseminate fall prevention information and resources.” 
– Helen Davis, Producer, Aging Well in LA, Channel 35, City of Los Angeles Department of Aging

“The play successfully conveyed a message that seniors need but don’t always want to know.  Every day, I speak with adult children whose aging parents don’t want to use ambulatory devices because they don’t want to ‘feel old.’ ”
– Lin Hammer, Elder Care Adviser, A Place for Mom

“Some people may learn what I felt were unusual facts, such as once you fall, your fear of falling again [can] become an impediment. If you’ve had this experience you really have to learn from it, of course, but not lose your confidence.”
-Richard Atwill, Actor, The Falling Monologues

“The acting was superb and realistic. I wanted to hear more monologues – they were so humorous and fact-filled.”
– Attendee at live performance of The Falling Monologues

The Falling Monologues were made possible by the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence, funded by the Archstone Foundation and headquartered at the University of Southern California, Andrus Gerontology Center; the Fall Prevention Coalition – Los Angeles (FPC-LA), funded by the Kaiser Foundation; and the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging.