Press Releases

DFTA Receives Federal Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Grant

NEW YORK (June 13, 2019)

The New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) is a recipient of an Administration for Community Living (ACL) 2019 evidence-based falls prevention grant. DFTA is among 12 grantees selected nationwide to implement and increase the continued availability of evidence-based programs that will reduce the risk of falls and fall-related injuries among older adults.

Among New Yorkers age 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and hospitalizations. Falls can also be costly and lead to fear and withdrawal from social and physical activities. Fortunately, falls are not a normal part of the aging process, and evidence-based programs can help to achieve better health outcomes and lower costs.

Over the three-year grant period, DFTA will develop the delivery of two evidence-based falls prevention programs: “A Matter of Balance” and “Tai Chi for Arthritis” through approximately 20 community-based aging services providers in DFTA’s network. In addition, DFTA will establish a referral process with healthcare partners in order to reach an estimated 1,960 older New Yorkers.

DFTA will lead the initiative in partnership with the Center for Self-Determination, Self-Direction, and Self-Care (CS-3) at Temple University School of Social Work; Healthfirst; MetroPlus Health Plan; Mount Sinai Health System; the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and NYC Health + Hospitals.

“Falls happen in an instant but have lasting impacts that can lead to loss of independence and a lower quality of life. This grant will help us further educate older adults about how to avoid costly hospital bills and long periods of difficult recovery,” said DFTA Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “Through a partnership with our aging services network, we will lead the delivery of evidence-based programs to areas with higher rates of fall-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits.”

“Falls can limit both the quality and length of seniors’ lives,” said NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, who serves as Co-Chair of the NYC Falls Prevention Coalition with DFTA. “The provision of resources that can extend the reach of falls prevention activities will be invaluable to New Yorkers, and we look forward to serving on the Advisory Committee of this important initiative.”

“We’re proud to support the NYC Department for the Aging’s continued work in ensuring the safety of New York’s older adults,” said Theodore Long, MD, Vice President for Ambulatory Care at NYC Health + Hospitals. “As a health care outreach and referral partner for the evidence-based falls prevention program, NYC Health + Hospitals is looking forward to contributing to such important and potentially lifesaving educational work.”

“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls each year; an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds; and an older adult dies from a fall every 19 minutes,” said Greg Olsen, Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging. “Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. The total cost of fall injuries is $50 billion annually. Falls are not a normal part of aging and there are strategies to help improve strength, increase confidence, and reduce the risk of falls. DFTA’s award and its partnerships will make a substantial contribution to reducing falls among older New Yorkers.”

“MetroPlus is proud to support the Department for the Aging on this innovative program,” said Talya Schwartz, MD, President and CEO of MetroPlus Health Plan. “Together, we are creating a strong foundation for a partnership that will expand the reach of evidence-based falls prevention programming to older adults, including our members.”

“Healthfirst is excited to collaborate on this very important initiative with NYC’s Department for the Aging, said Dr. Susan Beane, Executive Medical Director at Healthfirst. “This initiative would further the City’s intent to not only integrate evidence-based falls prevention programs into communities of need using a promising partnership model but also create sustainable relationships that will continue to positively impact the health of populations we jointly serve.”

“This grant award raises the bar for what New York City can do to help older adults prevent the falls and subsequent injuries that can affect the quality of their lives,” said Rosanne Leipzig MD, PhD. Vice Chair of Education, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“Falls are a growing and significant public health concern, especially for older adults,” said Lisa Ferretti, Director of the Center for Self-Determination, Self-Direction, and Self-Care (CS-3) at Temple University School of Social Work. “The falls prevention programs being delivered through this initiative are among those proven to have the potential to reduce falls, increase the likelihood of continuing to live in one’s own home and help control health care costs. We are pleased to collaborate with DFTA to realize these benefits for older New Yorkers.”

“Increasing collaborations between aging networks and healthcare agencies is another important and needed goal of the project, building our ability to work together to reduce and prevent falls,” said Philip McCallion, Co-Director of the Center for Self-Determination, Self-Direction, and Self-Care (CS-3) at Temple University School of Social Work.

To receive or learn more about DFTA services, call 311.

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The New York City Department for the Aging works to eliminate ageism and ensure the dignity and quality of life of New York City's diverse 1.6 million older adults. DFTA also works to support caregivers through service, advocacy, and education. DFTA is the largest area agency on aging in the U.S.

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