Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries for people 65 and older. Every year, more than 18,000 older Americans die because of a fall. In Rhode Island, falls-related injuries are the cause of 2,370 hospitalizations and more than 120 deaths. The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) is partnering with ten local senior centers to educate senior center members about how to prevent falls and falls-related injuries.
“In 2007, more than 11,000 adults age 65 and older had to go to the Emergency Room for injuries caused by a fall,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “Many falls are preventable, and people need to learn about the simple things they can do in their own home to reduce the risk of falling.”
Studies show that a combination of interventions, including increased physical activity, annual vision checks, medication management, and home safety risk assessments, can significantly reduce falls in the older adult population. The Lowe’s® store located on Quaker Lane in Warwick donated 500 night lights with light sensors that will automatically turn on when it is dark. These night lights will be distributed at 10 Rhode Island senior centers on Falls Prevention Awareness Day, along with home safety checklists.
To download a home safety checklist or to learn more about preventing falls, visit http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/index.html or call 222-5960/RI Relay 711.