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Fall Risk Mapping

Visualizing Fall-related Injuries among Older Adults across the United States

The global population is aging at an unprecedented rate, with older adults constituting a rapidly growing demographic group. As individuals age, their mobility and physical resilience often decline, making them more vulnerable to various environmental hazards, especially when navigating outdoor spaces. Especially, older adults are vulnerable to falls in outdoor settings, posing serious risks to their health and quality of life. Identifying fall-related injuries and associated risk factors is crucial to enhancing the safety and well-being of older adults. The research's primary goal is to systematically identify and assess fall-related injuries among older adults that pose risks to their safety and wellbeing. This involves pursuing three specific objectives. First, we will explore fall-related injuries of older adults to understand how specific conditions and obstacles impact their safety and wellbeing. Second, we will examine environmental risk factors associated with fall injuries for older adults by reviewing literature and analyzing data. Third, we will use the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analysis techniques to create detailed fall-risk maps pinpointing areas with higher risks for older adults. Through this research, we seek to address the pressing issue of falls among older adults and associated risk factors to create safer and healthier communities for the aging population.

This research is funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Center on Aging.

If you are an undergraduate student interested in summer research, contact me at a.hong@utah.edu and apply to the SPUR project by January 28, 2024.

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