NCOA Celebrates Older Americans Month with Focus on Preventing Falls
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NCOA Celebrates Older Americans Month with Focus on Preventing Falls

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May 1, 2014

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

Washington, DC – The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is celebrating Older Americans Month with resources to help older adults prevent life-threatening falls.

Older Americans Month is sponsored each May by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL). This year’s theme is Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow. The focus is on injury prevention, including fire, motor vehicle, and consumer product safety; improper use of medicine; and more.

NCOA and its national, state, and local partners in the Falls Free® Initiative are putting a special emphasis on how individuals and communities can work together to prevent falls among seniors.

According to ACL, “unintentional injuries to this population result in at least 6 million medically treated injuries and more than 30,000 deaths every year.” More than 21,700 older adults die from falls each year, and every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency room for a fall-related injury. The direct medical cost of falls is currently estimated to top $36 billion annually and is expected to grow to nearly $62 billion by 2020, costing Medicare about $46 billion. 

Falls are not a normal part of aging, and they can be prevented through a combination of interventions. These include exercising, getting a falls risk assessment, reviewing medications, having vision and hearing checked, and making the home environment safe. Evidence-based community programs like Matter of Balance, Stepping On, and Tai Chi also have been shown to reduce falls and medical costs. Learn more at www.ncoa.org/FallsPrevention and 6 Steps to Prevent a Fall.

“There is no better way to honor seniors during Older Americans Month than to help them stay safe from harm,” said James Firman, NCOA president. “We encourage everyone to share our tools and information with older adults in their communities.”

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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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Use our resources to promote your Falls Prevention Awareness Day activities.