Prevention Program Lowered The Risk Of Falls And Decreased Claims For Long-Term Services Among Elder Participants
Author: Marc A. Cohen, Jessica Miller, Xiaomei Shi, Jasbir Sandhu, Lewis A. Lipsitz
The LIFT (Living Independently and Falls-free Together) Wellness Program is a multifactorial fall-prevention intervention developed for community-dwelling elders. Its effectiveness was tested in a randomized controlled trial of consenting people who were ages seventy-five and older and who held long-term care insurance policies with one of three major insurers. The study was conducted during 2008–12. In the first year following the intervention, participants in the intervention group had an 11 percent reduction in risk of falling and an 18 percent reduction in risk of injurious falls, compared to participants in the active control group. In the three years after the intervention, participants in the intervention group had a significantly (33 percent) lower incidence of claims for long-term services and supports than those in the administrative control group, for an estimated return of $1.68 on every dollar invested in program delivery. The results of this evaluation are unique in demonstrating that a multifactorial fall prevention program can do more than reduce falls in this population; they suggest that the broader availability of LIFT could benefit long-term care insurers and policyholders alike.