Older Adult Falls

Falls in Washington

Falls are a growing health problem for older adults, and there are many myths about falling. The most important message we can share with our communities is that falls are preventable (PDF).

Falls in Washington State:(current as of June 8, 2021)

  • Each year, more than a quarter of Washington residents over age 65 experience a fall.
  • In 2019, unintentional fall-related deaths account for more than half of all unintentional injury deaths of Washington residents over age 65. Among them, 76% were 85 and older.
  • In 2019, Washington State had the 18th-highest rate of unintentional fall-related deaths in the nation for adults age 65+.
  • The total number of unintentional fall-related death among Washington residents over age 65 has more than doubled from 393 in 2000 to 974 in 2019.
  • In 2019 there were 14275 non-fatal unintentional fall-related hospitalizations among Washington residents over age 65.
  • In 2019, among Washington residents over age 65, the lifetime cost for unintentional fall-related deaths was $141 million, and for non-fatal unintentional fall-related hospitalizations was $1.1 billion.
  • In 2019 there were 14275 non-fatal unintentional fall-related hospitalizations among Washington residents over age 65 (1).
  • There were 997 unintentional fall-related deaths of Washington residents age over 65 in 2019 (2)
  • Washington has a 27% higher rate of deaths from falls than the United States as a whole(3)

References:

(1) WA Hospital Discharge Data, Comprehensive Hospitalization Abstract Reporting System (CHARS) 1987- 2019. Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics.

(2) Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, Death Certificate Data, 1990–2019, Community Health Assessment Tool (CHAT).

(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2019 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released in 2020. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2019, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed at http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html on Jun 7, 2021 2:16:21 PM