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Observing National Fall Prevention Awareness Day on September 23

National Fall Prevention Awareness DayNational Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD) is on September 23. Sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), this event enters its 8th year in 2015 and aims to spread awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.

Elderly fall prevention is an important issue. As people get older, physical changes and health conditions increase their risk of falling. The mere fear of slips and falls would also restrict their level of movement and activities quite significantly. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 25,000 older adults die each year from a fall in the US. Every 13 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury and suffers death from the condition every 29 seconds.

First observed in 2008, participation in FPAD increased from 11 states to 48 states and the District of Columbia in 2014. This year’s theme is “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls”, with the aim to unite and encourage professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members in playing a role to raise awareness and prevent falls among the elderly.

Slips and falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors and fall prevention is a major element of geriatric care in leading healthcare centers. However, falls are preventable. The CDC offers the following suggestions to help prevent falls among older people:

  • Exercising regularly increases leg strength and improving balance
  • Getting medications reviewed by their healthcare provider to identify medicines that may cause dizziness or drowsiness
  • Getting an eye exam and taking measures to maximize vision
  • Making homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, improving the lighting, and so on
  • Lowering hip fracture by getting adequate calcium and vitamin D and getting screened for osteoporosis

As part of the annual fall prevention awareness campaign, healthcare providers and senior service agencies will host a series of events such as health fairs, presentations, screenings and workshops targeting older adults and their families, caregivers, and the general public about the seriousness of falls and measures to reduce fall risk.

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