A recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), found that while federal agencies have programs designed to prevent falls or improve accessibility for older adults and those with disabilities, the programs:
serve a limited number of people,
may not be helping those who need it most, and
Fail to share information.
For example, the study found that adults with disabilities between the ages of 45 and 59 reported fall injuries at higher rates than those 60 and up. However, CDC analysis of data on falls focuses on older adults only.
According to CDC, falls were the leading cause of death from unintentional injury among older adults in 2020. They cost billions of dollars in medical expenses. However, studies also show that assessing and modifying the home environment or using other interventions can help prevent falls.
Currently programs provide home safety assessments, railings, ramps, exercise programs and more. However, GAO says that these federal programs are not doing a good enough job sharing their findings and other information. It also recommended the CDC examine falls data for adults of various ages.