Northern Valley Indian Health
Standing Strong on Your Feet – A Fall Prevention Program
Approximately, one in four adults over the age of 65 reports falling each year, accounting for 36 million falls annually. As California has the largest population of older adults and the largest percentage of residents who identify as American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) alone or in combination with another race at 14%, it compelled Northern Valley Indian Health to partner with California Area Indian Health Services (CA IHS), Department of Environment Health Services (DEHS) and initiate a Fall Prevention Program.
The first year of this partnership focused on training NVIH staff on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries (STEADI) toolkit and development of marketing materials. By the second year, NVIH was able to offer workshops for balance and strength building and preliminary surveys indicated that patients were implementing lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, the latter half of year two (2) was impacted by the coronavirus and programming modifications are being explored.
NVIH recognizes that falls and fall-related injuries are preventable and, therefore, we are applying for funding to formalize a fall prevention program.
We have defined a long-term goal that will guide us in serving the needs of our Native communities with short-term goals for years 1 and 2 that will help us with immediate assessments while we find an innovative way of offering balance and strength building workshops.
Long-term goal: By the end of the project (year 5), decrease the fall risk for 80% of elders identified as at risk of a fall-related injuring using the Stay Independent Questionnaire.
Objective # 1: Implement care coordination services to assure that referrals made by primary care providers are completed for 60% of the elders’ age 55+ who screen at risk for falls on the Stay Independent Questionnaire by either acknowledging a fall within the last year or a score of 4 or higher.
Objective # 2: Increase the number of Home Safety Assessments by 50% in elders age 55 + who screen “at risk” for falls on the Stay Independent questionnaire by either acknowledging a fall within the last year or a score of 4 or higher.
We appreciate the opportunity to apply for funding to formalize a fall prevention program for our Native communities, and sincerely thank you for your consideration of our request.