Don't Fall This Fall...Or Any Other Time, If You Can Help It

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a variety of falls prevention materials for older adults, including a falls prevention checklist for your home. 

Here are some sobering statistics from the Washington State Department of Health:

  • In King County, from 2005 to 2009, almost 20,000 adults age 55+ were hospitalized for a fall-related injury, about 3,978 adults each year.
  • The same years, 719 adults age 55+ died from a fall-related injury.
  • Many of these falls were preventable.

Falls are a significant hazard to our health, which is why we promote public awareness about how to prevent and reduce falls among older adults. National Falls Prevention Awareness Day is observed on the first day of fall (this year, that's September 22). In Washington state, Governor Christine Gregoire has recognized September 16–20, 2012 as Falls Prevention Awareness Week. The Seattle-King County Advisory Council for Aging & Disability Services is dedicating the September 2012 issue of AgeWise King County to falls prevention.

For an overview of falls prevention awareness and the good work that Aging and Disability Services (ADS) is doing with Russian-speaking clients, read ADS planner Karen Winston's article, "Falls—Predictable and Preventable." Karen outlines the Centers for Disease Control's four key strategies for falls prevention:

  • Exercise for balance and strength.
  • Ask your doctor to review your medicines.
  • Get your eyes checked.
  • Make your home safer.

The articles that follow reinforce those themes:

Also in this issue:

I hope you have a great fall...but please don't fall. Get moving, stay connected, and make a difference!

—Diane Snell, Chair
Seattle-King County Advisory Council for Aging and Disability Services