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FLORIDA JOINS TOGETHER IN SUPPORTING FALLS PREVENTION AWARENESS DAY
-The Florida Department of Health and the Department of Elder Affairs Team Up to Prevent Falls-
TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Health (DOH), the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) and local partners have joined together to promote and increase public awareness about how to prevent and reduce falls among older adults by declaring September 22nd Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Unintentional falls are the leading cause of injury death among Florida residents ages 65 years and older.
“Falls are not an inevitable part of aging,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John H Armstrong. “The good news is that we have proven strategies to identify those at highest risk, reduce falls, and help older adults live healthier and longer.”
Unintentional falls are the leading cause of injury death among Florida residents ages 65 years and older and the fourth leading cause of injury death overall. In addition, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injury-related hospital admissions in Florida.
In 2011, more than 2,000 residents were fatally injured in a fall and more than 60,000 were hospitalized for non-fatal injuries. Nearly three-quarters of these injuries were among residents ages 65 years and older.
“In addition to financial costs, there are many personal costs associated with senior falls: loss of independence, family strain, reduced quality of life, fear of future falls, social isolation, and loss of productivity,” said Dr. Armstrong.
If you are interested in creating a Senior Falls Prevention Coalition in your community, gathering injury data or learning more about Senior Falls Prevention and Training please visit the Injury Prevention Program website.
DOEA also has an active falls prevention program as part of its overall health and wellness initiative. DOEA, which is the primary state agency responsible for administering human services programs to benefit Florida’s growing elder population, works closely with local communities to develop falls prevention programs.
“Falls pose one of the biggest threats to elders in Florida, and there is so much we can do to reduce the risk,” said Elder Affairs Secretary Charles T. Corley. “The key to falls prevention is to understand the problem and to acknowledge the steps we can take to keep our seniors safe.”
Falls prevention interventions can improve the quality of life for seniors, and DOEA offers several intervention programs throughout Florida. Evidence-based (EB) interventions found in Florida include: Eat Better Move More, Enhance Fitness, Healthy Ideas, Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance, Chronic Disease Self Management Program, A Matter of Balance and Diabetes Self-Management Program.
Senior falls prevention initiatives such as the Florida Senior Falls Prevention Coalition are spearheaded by the Florida Department of Health, Office of Injury Prevention and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Elder Rights Bureau, Communities for a Lifetime. For more information please visit the websites below.
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