Public Affairs Manager
National Falls Prevention Awareness Day celebrates being ready, steady, and balanced to stay safe
Arlington, VA – Today’s older adults want to stay active, independent, and safe in their homes, but many worry about falling. In fact, one in three Americans over the age of 65 falls every year. But, falling is not a normal part of aging. Every older adult has the power to prevent a fall.
Today, the National Council on Aging (NCOA), its Falls Free® Coalition, and educators, aging services professionals, physical and occupational therapists, doctors, older adults, and many others are observing the 9th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day.
Across the country, Falls Free® Coalition partners are hosting classes and seminars, performing thousands of falls risk screenings, and educating older adults about this year’s theme: Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016. The theme highlights three goals that all older adults have the power to achieve:
- Be ready: Education is the most important step to being ready to prevent a fall. Online and at thousands of community organizations, resources are available to help older adults understand their risk of falling. They also can enroll in evidence-based falls prevention programs to learn how to address their fear of falling and what they can do to improve or sustain their strength. A new video from NCOA, You have the Power to Prevent a Fall, highlights the value of these programs and the successes older adults have had taking control of their falls risks.
- Be steady: Older adults can be steady if they take simple steps to prevent falls. These include talking with a doctor about medications, getting hearing and vision checkups, and assessing living spaces for hazards. NCOA’s award-winning video provides 6 Steps to Prevent a Fall. To show older adults where to start mitigating falls risks in the home, NCOA is hosting a Facebook Live walk through of a home with the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 1:00 p.m. ET. Use #FPAD16 to join the conversation on social media.
- Be balanced: “Falls prevention is a team effort that takes a balance of education, preparation, and community support,” said Kathleen Cameron, Senior Director of NCOA’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center. “Falls Prevention Awareness Day is an opportunity to take a look at the world around us, be aware of falls hazards, and think about how we can make changes that will keep our parents, grandparents, aging neighbors, and even ourselves safe from falls and injuries.”
For the first time this year, NCOA and its Falls Free® Coalition are encouraging supporters to wear a yellow ribbon to increase awareness of falls prevention. To find a state coalition, go to ncoa.org/Map and search for Falls Prevention Coalitions.
To find more falls prevention resources, go to ncoa.org/FallsPrevention.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. NCOA directs the U.S. Administration for Community Living-supported National Falls Prevention Resource Center. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.
About the Falls Free® Initiative
Led by the National Council on Aging, the Falls Free® Initiative includes 43 state coalitions and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies 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. For more information, visit: ncoa.org/FallsFreeInitiative.