Community invited to participate in Falls Prevention events |

Community invited to participate in Falls Prevention events

The Falls Prevention Coalition of Nevada County, with support from the Board of Supervisors and the Cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City, is declaring September 21-September 28, 2008 “Falls Prevention Week.”

Recently, the State of California, recognizing the importance of falls prevention, passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 77, authored by Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), which establishes an annual Fall Prevention Week recognition in the state and urges all state and local agencies to incorporate falls prevention considerations in their planning documents affecting housing, transportation, parks and recreational facilities. The resolution was co-sponsored by the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence and the California Commission on Aging.

Slated for September 21-28 Falls Prevention Week, which is co-sponsored by the Elder Care Providers Coalition, will begin with a kick-off event on Sunday afternoon, September 21 at Peace Lutheran Church on West Main in Grass Valley. There will be presentations and workshops on how to reduce the risk of falling, entertainment by the Strum Bums and Grass Valley Hula Dancers, a vendor fair and a healthy evening meal. The event is free, but people must sign-up by calling HelpLine at 273-2273. Gold Country Telecare, 272-1710, will provide transportation to the kick-off event for those eligible for their services. Throughout the week, other workshops will be offered at several locations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult is treated in a hospital emergency room for a fall every 18 seconds, and every 35 minutes an older adult dies as a result of a fall related injury. In fact, among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. In California alone, 1.3 million older adults experience an injury due to falling each year.

In 2005, of the 1,035 people hospitalized in Nevada County because of injuries nearly half, 514, were hospitalized due to falls; almost 70% were 65 years of age and older. The total cost of hospitalization for the 356 seniors (65+) admitted in 2005 due to falls in Nevada County alone was approximately $11.5 million. In that same year, over 1,200 seniors went to the ER due to a fall.

The good news is that falls are preventable. A combination of interventions including physical activity that includes a regimen of balance, flexibility and strength training have been found to significantly reduce falls in the older adult population. Experts also recommend consulting with a health professional about getting a risk assessment for falling as well as making sure the environment is safe and supportive.

Contact Helpline at 273-2273.

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