Health district staff and its partners will utilize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries (STEADI) program in its risk assessments. Participants who are found to be at risk for falls will be provided information and recommendations to attend Stepping On, a seven-week course to educate seniors about how to prevent falls. Created by the University of Sydney in Australia, Stepping On has published research that found a 31 percent reduction in falls among seniors who completed the program 14 months earlier compared to a control group.
In Nevada, the Center for Health Data and Research reports that in 2004 there were 132 deaths that resulted from falls, 70 percent of these occurred in Clark County. The Center also reported that between 2003 and 2005, 10,035 people were admitted to Nevada hospitals as a result of a fall, making up 45 percent of all hospital admissions for accidental injuries in that three year period.
The CDC reports the death rate from falls among older adults has increased by 42 percent from 2000 to 2006. Each year, one in three Americans aged 65 and over falls and this is the leading cause of injury in this age group. In 2010, more than 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments with more than 660,000 of these patients hospitalized. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Between 20 percent and 30 percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries, which can make mobility difficult. These types of injuries can make it difficult for older adults to live independently and they can increase the risk of early death. It is estimated that the cost of treating falls in older adults is more than $28 billion annually and is expected to rise to $54.9 billion by the year 2020 as the baby boomer generation continues to age.
Following are some tips to prevent falls:
• Exercise regularly to improve bone health, balance and coordination.
• Make homes safer by removing items from stairs/walkways to prevent tripping, avoid using step stools, use non-slip mats in tubs and showers, improve lighting, remove throw rugs or put double sided tape on them to prevent slipping, install handrails/lights on staircases.
• Consult a healthcare provider to review medications as some can cause lightheadedness or drowsiness and increase the risk of falling.
• Have a vision check because poor vision or incorrect lens prescriptions can increase the risk of falls.
The Nevada Goes Fall Free Coalition will offer free fall risk assessments at the following locations:
Sun., Sept. 22, 1p-4p
Atria Seville, 2000 N Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas, (702) 628-9460
Tues., Sept. 24, 1p-3p
Humana Green Valley, 1000 N Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson, (702) 269-5200
Wed., Sept. 25, 11a-noon, 1p-2p
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, 888 W Bonneville Avenue, Las Vegas
Register to participate with Jen Nash, email@example.com to ensure availability.
Fri., Sept. 27, 12:30p-2 p
Cambridge Community Center, 3930 Cambridge Street, Las Vegas, (702) 455-7169
Sat., Sept. 28, 11a-3p
Nevada State Veteran’s Home, 100 Veteran’s Memorial Drive, Boulder City
Contact Agnes (702) 858-6581 or Lynda, (215) 805-0477 to register for an assessment.