The graying of America will continue to present significant challenges for the prevention and treatment of injuries. The already-high risk of injury among the elderly may well increase as we continue to promote healthy aging and improve overall function and mobility among older adults. Even if age- and gender-specific risks do not change over time, the 65-and-older population will soon account for more than one-third of all injury deaths and hospitalizations.
These projections argue strongly for increased attention to research that better identifies injury risks among the elderly, with a strong emphasis on identifying opportunities for intervention. They also make the case for increased efforts directed at improving care for geriatric trauma patients, with the goal of reducing case fatality and improving quality of life post-injury. Center faculty are engaged in research on older adults’ driving self-regulation behaviors and injury risks, falls and physical activity, and access to trauma care.