Elder Day Falls Prevention Awareness Week

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By Wally Pearce

Winters Elder Day Council

This year marks the 11th anniversary of Falls Prevention Awareness Day and the theme this year lasts for a one week celebration starting on Saturday, Sept. 22, and running thru Sunday, Sept. 30.

The recognition of Falls Prevention Awareness Week is meant to unite healthcare providers, policymakers, caregivers, family and community in creating awareness of the frequency and dangers of falls–especially among the elderly–and ways to prevent them.

Annually, a quarter of Americans over the age of 65 suffer from a fall, which sometimes results in a death.Nationally a fall related injury occurs every 11 seconds. Additionally, every 19 minutes an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a sustained fall. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), these statistics are projected to increase to seven every hour by the year 2030.

Nationally, in 2015, the total direct cost for falls-related injuries was $50 billion, and the CDCP anticipates that this cost could increase to $67.7 billion by 2020. According to the most recent Yolo County California Public Health Department data, hundreds of people over the age of 65 were treated in an emergency trauma center for falls-related injuries in 2015, with a significant number being hospitalized at an average cost of over $47,000 per patient.

Falls are caused by health and environmental risk factors, but are largely preventable through the use of good healthcare, proven fall prevention programs, and successful education.

Join with the Winters Elder Day Council in celebrating Fall Prevention Awareness Week, and continue in our ongoing advocacy of established fall prevention programs based on the award-winning Matter of Balance curriculum designed to teach how cognitive behavior and light physical activity work together for desired safety results. This instructive program has resulted in a noteworthy amount of older adults graduating from this course with sustainable effects.

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