Reduce housing-related fall hazards for older adults
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations and deaths among older adults in New York City, causing an average of 17,000 hospitalizations and nearly 300 deaths each year. Fall-related hospitalization charges total more than $750 million. There are currently more than one million older adults (age 65 or older) in the city, and the older adult population is expected to grow by 41 percent to 1.41 million by 2040, which could dramatically increase the burden of falls and their associated costs.
Most falls among older adults occur at home. Finding and fixing fall hazards in the home is effective in lowering both the risk of falls and the rate of falls among older adults. By 2030, all City contracts for providing home-based services for older adults will require an assessment for fall hazards, as per the DOHMH recommendation. In addition, for new construction, the City will promote the adoption of universal design elements such as grab bars, hand rails, slip-resistant floors, and lighting that reduces the risks of falls. Similarly, for existing buildings, the City will provide incentives for in-place retrofits for these measures aimed at promoting safe home environments and preventing falls among older adults.