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Fall Prevention for Iowa

September is Falls Prevention Awareness Month


Falls are a significant concern for Iowans, especially with Iowa’s aging population. For all age groups, falls are the second leading cause of injury deaths in Iowa, and the leading cause of injury hospitalizations and emergency visits in Iowa.

For those over the age of 65, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths with the highest rate in those over the age of 84. The causes of falling vary with contributing factors including: reduced strength in lower extremities, use of four or more medications, poor vision, chronic health problems and unsafe home conditions.

An environmental scan of groups of individuals and agencies was conducted in March 2011 to determine interest in a falls prevention coalition.

Falls Prevention Training Opportunity

Please join us in the effort to curb the growing epidemic of falls among older adults in Iowa. The Iowa Department on Aging partnered with the Iowa Falls Prevention Coalition, the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Public Health Association, the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative and other key stakeholders to obtain grant funds to support fall prevention efforts in Iowa.

Individuals are currently being recruited to participate in the following evidenced based falls prevention programs as leader and/or master trainers. Space is limited.

A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falling. This program is specifically designed to reduce the fear of falling cycle and improve activity levels among community-swelling older adults. It includes eight classes, each lasting two hours, presented over a four-week period by trained facilitators. The individuals selected for the Iowa training will be expected to facilitate two participant workshops between 04/01/2015 - 08/31/2015. After successful completion of the two workshops, the Master Trainer can train volunteer coaches who in turn can facilitate additional participant workshops.

  • Applications due January 9, 2015
  • Notification of acceptance: February 2nd
  • Master Training in Des Moines, IA: March 11 - 12
  • Point of contact: Mark A. Hanson, Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging (515) 210-7008;
  • Click Here for more information.

Stepping On: Building Confidence and Reducing Falls. This evidenced-based falls prevention program empowers older adults to carry out health behaviors that reduce the risk of falls. It is a community-based workshop offered once a week for seven weeks using adult education and self-efficacy principles. The Iowa Falls Prevention project is sponsoring a Stepping On Leader Training in Johnston, IA from 02/24/2015 - 02/26/2015. Applicants MUST attend all three days.

  • Applications due: January 16, 2015
  • Notification of acceptance: February 2nd
  • Leader Training in Johnston, IA: February 24 - 26
  • Point of contact: Mark A. Hanson, Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging (515) 210-7008;
  • Click Here for more information.

Tai Chi for Arthritis & Falls Prevention (TCA). Research indicates that participation in weekly, community-based tai chi classes can reduce falls in community-dwelling older adults and suggests TCA is an effective and sustainable public health intervention for falls prevention. This Instructor Training Workshop is designed for tai chi teachers or advanced students; occupational or physical therapists; health professionals (RN,MD, ATC, DC, etc); certified exercise instructors or fitness trainers and other individuals with similar health and fitness backgrounds.

  • Registration deadline: January 23, 2015
  • TCA Instructor training Workshop in Clive, IA: February 21 - 22
  • Point of contact: Trina Radske-Suchan, YMCA Clive, (515) 645-3342;
  • Click Here for more information.

Falls are not a natural consequence of aging

Fall prevention interventions can make a difference in the health and quality of life for older adults.

This Website

The Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Department on Aging are collaborating to provide this website as a starting point for health care professionals and members of the public who are seeking information about preventing falls in Iowa.