Falls Prevention Awareness Week
Each year, The National Council on Aging provides information and tools to bring awareness to Falls Prevention Awareness Week. This is a national health campaign to increase awareness around falls health and injury prevention.
There is a recurring theme across many of these public health messages, discover the value of community. So, it is no surprise that this year's theme is: Strengthening Community Connections in Falls Prevention.
Unfortunately, falls are a serious public health issue, and everyone in the community has a part to play in falls prevention.
It seems like common sense—everybody falls, no matter what age. However, an unexpected fall can result in a serious and costly injury for many older adults. The good news is that most falls can be prevented. And one of the ways you can avoid a fall is by knowing who you can call on for help.
That's why falls prevention should be a team effort, where each team member offers expertise in their area of responsibility or field of work. Some members include health care professionals, like your primary care physician, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, or pharmacists. While health care professionals provide much of the expertise and experience to ensure you live independently and falls free, there are other resources in your community that contribute to falls prevention.
The factors to watch for are numerous, from medication and vision impairment to poor lighting and chronic conditions. That's why having a team to help spot and address fall risks is so helpful.
Falls Prevention Programs: Saving Lives, Saving Money
(Information from the National Council on Aging)
Falls are the number one cause of injury and fatal injuries among older adults.
- 1 in 4 Americans age 65 and older fall each year
- Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room from a fall
- Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall
- Each year, more than $50 billion is spent on the direct medical costs related to fall injuries (78% paid by Medicare and Medicaid)
- Even falls without injury can cause fear of falling, leading to physical decline, depression, and social isolation
- Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and account for over 95% of all hip fractures.
While falls are common and costly, they can often be prevented. Falls prevention programs can significantly reduce falls and risk factors, save lives, save money, and are effective in helping older adults stay independent and falls free.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) leads the National Falls Prevention Resource Center, which supports awareness and educational efforts about falls and promotes evidence-based falls prevention programs and strategies across the nation. These efforts help increase public awareness, support the implementation of falls prevention programs, and serves as a resource center for best practices and other information on falls and falls prevention.
The National Council on Aging offers resources for older adults on various health and wellness topics, including falls. The Falls Free Checkup is a quick 2-minute assessment that helps you evaluate your fall risk with a printable summary that can be shared with your physician.
- TAGS: Enabling to Engaging, Issues to Aspirations, Outputs to Outcomes
- CATEGORIES: Community Support and Health Services, Communication and Information