Though falls are a major cause of trauma
among seniors, little has been done in the US to address the
situation. This is about to change, thanks to a study aimed at
developing a fall prevention programme for seniors to be undertaken
by Bankers Life and Casualty (BLC), a life insurer focused on the
seniors market, Life-Plans, a supplier of services to health
insurers, and the federal Department of Health and Human Services

Stressing the significance of the study, BLC’s president, Scott
Perry, said falls are a leading cause of deaths and the most common
cause of non-fatal injuries. More than 30 percent of American
adults over the age of 65 fall each year, he added.

According to BLC, costs of fall injuries for people aged 65 or
older is estimated to amount to about $36 billion in 2008 and reach
$44 billion by 2020.

“The majority of falls, which are preventable, occur at home and
are a chief contributor to nursing home admissions and long-term
care claim costs,” said Perry. ”It’s essential that America’s
seniors have the insight and knowledge to prevent falls.”

John Wells, senior vice-president of long-term care for insurer
Conseco, BLC’s parent company, said: “This very important programme
could significantly impact the quality of life for our customers.
There is [also] the potential for improving our block of long-term
care business through claims management, which benefits our
customers by helping to improve the stability of our long-term care
policy premium rates.”

The joint study is the product of three years of research by the
DHHS and Life-Plans.