The Shock of Falling Among the Elderly

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Event Type: 
Brown Bag
Date and Time: 
Thursday, November 19, 2015
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Inas R. Kelly
Queens College, CUNY

As the elderly in the United States live longer, they are also living longer in poorer health.  The number of deaths from falls among individuals 65 years of age and older in the United States rose from 10,227 in 1999 to 25,593 in 2013, and direct medical costs associated with falls have been shown to be $19.2 billion in 2000.  The National Council on Aging and other organizations are promoting a National Falls Prevention Action Plan.  A fall for an older individual can be a shock, as it happens so quickly and can be fatal.  It is not a shock, however, in the sense that falling has an endogenous quality to it, and not all older individuals are equally likely to fall.  Using the 1996-2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study and several econometric methods, the question of how much worse outcomes are for individuals who fall compared to their steadier counterparts and what can be done to prevent the fall is what this study seeks to answer.