47 States Celebrate 6th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day
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47 States Celebrate 6th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day

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September 20, 2013

NCOA Media Contact:
Jean Van Ryzin
202-600-3166
jean.vanryzin@ncoa.org 

Events help older adults and their families stay safe and independent

Washington DC – On Sunday, Sept. 22, the first day of fall, organizations in 47 states will observe the 6th annual national Falls Prevention Awareness Day by offering proven activities to help seniors stay safe.

Every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an Emergency Department for a fall-related injury. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65+.

“Falls are not a normal part of aging,” said (Bonita) Lynn Beattie, vice president of injury prevention at the National Council on Aging (NCOA), leader of the national Falls Free® Initiative. “This day provides an opportunity for older adults and their families to take proactive steps to prevent falls and stay independent for as long as possible.”

On Sept. 19, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution designating Sept. 22, 2013 as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Sen. Nelson (D-FL), Chair of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, introduced the resolution and was joined by Sen. Collins (R-ME), the Committee's Ranking Member; Appropriations Chairwoman Sen. Mikulski (D-MD); and six additional cosponsors—a record number for the resolution this year.

Forty-seven states are participating, offering educational presentations, risk screenings, exercise classes, and other events around this year’s theme of Preventing Falls—One Step at a Time.

Studies show that a combination of interventions can significantly reduce falls among older adults. Experts recommend:

  • A physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components
  • Consulting with a health professional about getting a falls risk assessment
  • Having medications reviewed periodically
  • Getting vision and hearing checked annually
  • Making sure the home environment is safe and supportive
  • Talking to family members to enlist their support

Falls threaten seniors’ health and independence and are an increasingly costly health challenge. They cost more than $30 billion in direct medical costs from fatal and nonfatal injuries each year. For people aged 72+, the average health cost of a fall injury totaled $19,440 in 2010. Yet, there are evidence-based strategies, programs and services that can help older adults, their families and their health care partners in effective self-management of the risk of falling. 

For more falls prevention tips for older adults, visit www.ncoa.org/FallsPrevention. For information about falls prevention in your state, visit www.ncoa.org/FallsMap.

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About the Falls Free® Initiative  Led by the National Council on Aging, the Falls Free® Initiative includes more than 40 states and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies who are working collaboratively to bring education, awareness, and evidence-based solutions to local communities. Falls Free® seeks to provide hundreds of thousands of older Americans with the resources and education needed to reduce their risk of injury.

 

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About NCOA  The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the nation’s leading nonprofit service and advocacy organization representing older adults and the community organizations that serve them. Our goal is to improve the health, independence, and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. For more than 60 years, NCOA has been a trusted voice and innovative problem-solver helping seniors navigate the challenges of aging in America. We work with local and national partners to give older adults tools and information to stay healthy and secure, and we advocate for programs and policies to improve the lives of all seniors, especially the most vulnerable. For more information, please visit www.ncoa.org.


Sept. 23 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day!

Help spread the word about how older adults can prevent falls.

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