The Fund for Public Health in New York City (FPHNYC), in collaboration with the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has received a one-year award from the Staten Island Foundation to study the reasons for falls among Staten Island seniors.
Of NYC’s five boroughs, Staten Island has the highest rate of fall-related deaths (33.5 per 100,000 aged 65+ years). Citywide, the rate is 27.5 per 100,000. Staten Island is the only borough where the falls hospitalization rate (going to the hospital because of a fall injury) for older adults has increased in recent years. While many possibilities may explain the high rate, little data exists on Staten Island-specific risk patterns.
During the year-long study, FPHNYC and the Health Department will conduct in-person surveys of approximately 200 Staten Island seniors aged 65 years and older, examining their possible fall risks and engagement with their health care providers to reduce risks. FPHNYC and the Health Department will write a report summarizing the survey’s findings and identified fall-prevention strategies, including those for health care providers. In addition, the survey results will inform the development of a Public Health Detailing campaign on fall prevention.
“One fall can have a traumatic impact on the health and well-being of an older adult,” said Sara Gardner, Executive Director of FPHNYC. “This study will help us identify specific and preventable causes of falls, particularly in an area of the city where the rate of falls is high.”
The Staten Island Foundation
The Staten Island Foundation has emerged as a significant benefactor and champion of results for the least advantaged people in Staten Island, most recently focusing on collective efforts aiming at population-level improvements in health, education and financial security. Foundation giving to hundreds of community organizations now exceeds $64 million.