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Enhancing Tools to Prevent Accidents, Injuries and Death Among Older Adults

Older adult using a walker to get out of a car, with assistance from a younger man

Each year, more than one out of four older adults in the United States, age 65 and older, experiences a fall. More than 3 million older adults who fall are treated in the emergency room every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A growing body of research also indicates that older adults in rural communities experience greater risks of falling, and those who experience a fall typically have longer wait times to get help and longer travel times to receive critical medical care.  

In an effort to help prevent accidents, injuries and death among older adults, PHI researchers conducted an assessment of the CDC MyMobility Plan tool, which was developed to encourage older adults to plan for how they will navigate daily activities should their mobility decrease with age. The assessment gathered insights to inform adaptation of the MyMobility Plan tool for rural, older adult populations. A qualitative approach, consisting of interviews with key informants and focus groups and one-on-one interviews with older adults, was used to explore the relevance, comprehension, usability and usefulness of the tool. PHI researchers also came up with recommendations for adapting the tool to better meet the needs of older adults in rural communities throughout the United States.

The assessment is part of the fall prevention in-house research and evaluation portfolio for the National Network of Public Health Institute and was conducted in collaboration with the CDC’s STEADI Initiative – Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries.

 

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