Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury for people age 65 and older, but they do not have to be an inevitable part of aging. This year’s Falls Prevention Awareness Day will give older adults and families the resources they need to feel safe and healthy.
The public is invited to the event Tuesday, September 27th from 9:00-11:30am, at the North River Civic Center, located at 1009 Executive Dr #102, Hixson, TN 37343. Activities include health screenings such as blood pressure, balance assessment, grip test, bone density, carbon monoxide readings, educational sessions, medication review and take back (bring your unwanted medications and we’ll safely dispose them), home safety stations, giveaways, and much more! The welcome ceremony and door prize giveaways begin at9:30am.
“In Hamilton County, there were 736 fall-related hospitalizations among older adults in 2012, resulting in almost $27 million in hospital charges. In that same year, 19 older adults died as a result of a fall,” said Carleena Angwin, Public Health Educator with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department. “We can change this by bringing attention to the preventive measures that can help keep older adults safe.”
Traumatic injury due to falls can be avoided in older adults with the following behavior changes:
- Ask your health professional for a fall risk assessment.
- Review your medications periodically for drug interactions that could contribute to a fall.
- Participate in a physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components.
- Have an annual eye and ear exam.
- Create a safe and supportive home environment such as installing grab bars in bathrooms, handrails on stairs, and removing throw rugs and clutter.
The event is sponsored by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, City of Chattanooga Youth and Family Development, Erlanger Trauma Services, and BlueCare Tennessee, in partnership with additional community agencies and networks.
“Falls prevention has been and continues to be a growing concern among the elderly population, said Joni Hill, a consumer advocate with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. “In the Southeast between January-July 2016 in the Blue Care CHOICES program alone there were 17 severe injury falls and 19 non-severe falls reported to the BlueCross Critical Incident team.
“Fall Prevention is a main concern for me as I have encountered the issues that occur when a family member has fallen and the responsibility of taking care of that family member in my home,” she continued. “It is the mission of BlueCross Blue Shield to help increase falls awareness among their Members regarding falls and to decrease Members’ injuries and hospitalizations.”