Falls among the adult population age 65 and older represent something of a hidden epidemic. Less than 50% of falls are reported to healthcare providers according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
But under-reporting is just the beginning of a bad story. CDC data make the case for fall prevention most compelling:
- One out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year (with less than 50% reported to healthcare providers)
- Falls are the leading cause of injury death. In 2008, over 19,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries
- Falls are also the most common cause of Non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma for older adults
- In 2009, 2.2 million Non-fatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 581,000 of these patients were hospitalized
- In 2000, direct medical costs of falls totaled a little over $19 billion—$179 million for fatal falls and $19 billion for Non-fatal fall injuries. This equals $28.2 billion in 2010 dollars
LifePlans recognizes the need for an effective, replicable, adoptable and affordable program that promotes wellness, allows people to remain in their own homes and reduces fall incidence and fear of falling.
In 2003, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, LifePlans designed and implemented The LIFT Wellness Program (Living Independently and Falls-free Together).
LIFT consists of three major program components:
- An initial comprehensive, in-home evaluation conducted by nurses from our National Clinical Network
- The development and delivery of a specific and customized Action Plan which is sent both to the member and their physician along with a Health promotion & Fall Prevention Tool-Kit
- A telephonic review of the Action Plan conducted with the member by our Customer Contact Center that encourages physician follow up and alerts the member that they will receive our quarterly newsletter over the next year containing more fall prevention tips and information
The program is currently being implemented by a number of insurers across the country with more than 10,000 participants and is working:
- Self-reported fall rates have dropped by 29% at 12 months
- Risk factors have declined for the Intervention Group
- Fear of falling decreases
- Limitation on activities due to the fear of falls decreases
- Satisfaction with the program is high which can assist our clients with customer satisfaction scores as part of their STAR Ratings