State Launching Fall Prevention Campaign for Elderly
The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) is launching a senior fall prevention awareness campaign statewide from June 16 to August 30 to address an alarming number of injuries and deaths among Hawai‘i’s elderly.
According to statistics provided by DOH, an average of 94 seniors die per year from fall-related injuries, 1,940 are hospitalized and 8,050 are taken to emergency rooms statewide.
Seniors age 65 and older are most vulnerable to falls, according to the statistics, and the estimated healthcare costs associated with fall-related injuries tallies up to $120 million annually.
The DOH campaign will feature a broadcasted educational video about fall prevention, public service announcements, free medication reviews, balance testing, tai chi workshop and community presentations focused on preventing falls for seniors.
“We appreciate the many partners that have come together to increase awareness and prevention of falls among our seniors in Hawai‘i,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, DOH director. “This is an important public health issue and we must raise awareness to prevent the tragedy and hardship that injuries from falls can bring to families in our state.”
To prevent falls and fall-related injuries, DOH advises the following precautions to seniors, their family members and caregivers:
- Have your doctor or pharmacist review medications yearly
- Get an annual eye exam
- If you live alone, get a life-saving Personal Electronic Safety Device
- Make your home safer by removing fall hazards and improving lighting
- Exercise regularly to increase balance and flexibility
“Preventing falls is an important year-round effort,” said Stan Michaels, DOH fall prevention coordinator. “By putting in place a few simple precautions and making basic changes to the home environment, seniors can enjoy life, fall-free.”
For more information about fall prevention for seniors, visit health.hawaii.gov/injuryprevention/home/preventing-falls/information/ or call (808) 733-9202.