East Meadow, NY - September 11, 2015 - Fall is just around the corner, but falls shouldn’t be just around the corner for older adults. That’s why New York State and Nassau University Medical Center are joining forces with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Falls Free® Coalition to celebrate Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 23, 2015 – the first day of Fall.
“While falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injury for people 65 years of age and older, they are not an inevitable part of aging. This year’s Fall Prevention Awareness Day theme, Take a Stand to Prevent Falls, seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injury among older adults,” stated Victor F. Politi, MD, FACP, FACEP, NuHealth/NUMC’s President/CEO.
“According to the CDC, in the United States, there were 2.5 million older adult falls in 2013, resulting in 734,000 of these patients being hospitalized, and $34 billion in medical costs (adjusted for inflation). “We can change this by bringing greater attention to the many preventive measures that can be easily employed to keep our seniors safe.”
Studies show that a combination of behavior changes can significantly reduce falls among older adults. Experts recommend:
- Participating in a physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components.
- Consulting with a health professional about getting a fall risk assessment.
- Having medications reviewed periodically.
- Getting eyes and ears checked annually.
- Making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.
The recent United States of Aging Survey polled older adults to find out about how they are preparing for their later years. It found that more than half of seniors questioned said they would be interested in the expansion of community-based health promotion programs, including falls prevention classes.
At senior centers and other community-based organizations across the United States, programs like A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi, and Stepping On help older adults gain strength, improve balance, and build confidence to help them live healthier lives and preserve their independence.
With assistance from the New York State Dept. of Health, we will be starting our Tai Chi program in the near future. Tai Chi is an evidence-based, strength and balancing program which has been proven to reduce falls in the elderly.
New York State is part of the national Falls Free® Initiative, which includes 43 state-based falls prevention coalitions and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies across the country dedicated to reducing fall-related injuries and deaths among older adults.
About the Falls Free® Initiative
Led by the National Council on Aging, the Falls Free® Initiative includes 43 states 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, please visit here. Use #FPAD15 to join the conversation on social media.
The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for millions of older adults—especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged—and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit www.ncoa.org, Facebook or Twitter.
NuHealth is a Long Island health care organization delivering essential medical care and disease and lifestyle management to everyone at every stage of life. Also known as Nassau Health Care Corporation, NuHealth is a public benefit corporation managing the operations of Nassau Medical Center, A. Holly Patterson Extended Care and a network of Family Health Centers that bring primary and specialty care out into the community. By emphasizing wellness, cultural sensitivity and collaborative efforts with the North Shore-LIJ Health System, NuHealth is working to make good care more affordable and easier to access.
For more information about NuHealth or its Centers of Care, visit www.nuhealth.net.