To accomplish its work, the Senior Falls Prevention program at Spokane Regional Health District relies on its partnerships with dedicated stakeholders who serve the
aging community. To this end—using best-practice
strategies—the health leads Spokane County’s Fall Free Coalition in its work to prevent falls
among adults aged 65 and better.
In tandem with the coalition, the Senior Falls Prevention program offers public education outreach, oversees evidence-based exercise classes, and seeks new and developing opportunities to help keep the community on its feet.
The program is funded through a grant from the East Region Emergency Medical System Trauma Care Council and local funds.
If an individual could only change one behavior to decrease his or her risk of having a fall
the best option would be increasing physical activity. Participating in a
regular exercise class that focuses on leg strength and balance is shown to be
the most effective way to prevent falls.
While increasing physical activity is a recommendation to help prevent falls, only certain programs are shown to incorporate the necessary criteria to be considered an evidence-based falls prevention program. These exercise classes are the best choices to ensure that participants successfully reduce their risk of having a fall.
The Otago Exercise Program is a series of 17 strength and balance exercises
delivered by a physical therapist or a physical therapy assistant in the home,
outpatient or community setting that reduces falls between 35 percent and 40 percent for frail
Many studies have shown Tai Chi to be one of the most effective exercises for preventing falls. Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention helps people with arthritis to improve all muscular strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, and more.
An average of 133 people die annually from falls in Spokane County
The fall mortality rate in Spokane County is 56 percent higher than the rate for Washington state, resulting in an average of 133 people who die from a fall in Spokane County each year. This make falls the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in Spokane County among seniors.