For Immediate Release
September 20, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Falls Prevention Awareness Day – September 23

Topeka - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Kansas Department on Aging (KDOA) joins 43 other states and the Falls Free™ Coalition in declaring a statewide Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Governor Brownback signed a proclamation declaring September 23 as Fall Prevention Day and calls upon all Kansas citizens and interested groups to observe this day with appropriate activities that promote awareness of fall prevention.

“In 2009, there were 5,760 hospital discharges due to accidental falls among those 65 years and older in Kansas,” said Robert Moser, KDHE Secretary. “We need to raise awareness of preventive measures that can help keep seniors safe in Kansas.”

Studies show that a combination of interventions can significantly reduce falls in the older adult population. Experts recommend a physical activity regimen with balance, strength training and flexibility components. Consulting with a health professional about getting a fall risk assessment; having medications reviewed periodically, getting eyes checked annually; and making sure the home environment is safe and supportive is also recommended.

“When older adults fall, it often leads to a loss of independence, reduced mobility and earlier admission to a nursing home,” said Shawn Sullivan, Kansas Department on Aging Secretary. “But the good news is that falls can be prevented.”

Kansas is part of the Falls Free™ Coalition, which includes 34 states and 70 national organizations, professional associations and federal agencies across the country dedicated to reducing fall-related injury and death among older adults.