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DHSS Press Release



Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@state.de.us

Date: September 23, 2014
DHSS-9-2014





SENIORS AND FALLS - NOT AN INEVITABLE RISK OF AGING


DOVER (September 22, 2014) - Falls are the most common cause of injuries and injury-related deaths in senior citizens. Falls cost emotionally in terms of life changes, and cost physically in terms of pain and disability. Economically, falls cost an average of $20,000 per incident, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the request of the Delaware Coalition for Injury Prevention's Falls Prevention Team, Governor Jack A. Markell and Lieutenant Governor Matthew Denn have proclaimed September 23, 2014 as Fall Prevention Awareness Day. Delawareans are urged to support fall prevention strategies for seniors, such as regular exercise, professional eye examinations, adequate nutrition, and medication review with their health care provider, as well as home safety improvements.

Falling is not an inevitable risk of aging; yet nationally, one out of three seniors aged 65 and older will experience a fall. Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health, said, "In Delaware, older adults in our communities reported over 2,000 falls with hospitalization in 2013. These resulted in 48 potentially preventable deaths and an estimated $40 million in medical costs." The most common cause of falls for seniors was slipping or tripping on a level surface, according to the Delaware State Trauma System Registry.

Delaware Health and Social Services and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) hold free fall-prevention classes statewide throughout the year. The current schedule for "A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls" is:

New Castle County:
Claymore Senior Center - Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. until October 28.
Christiana Hospital - Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. until November 5.
New Castle Senior Center - Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., October 1 - November 19.
Appoquinimink Activity Center-Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., October 16 - December 11.

Kent County:
Felton United Methodist Church - Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. until November 6.
Harvest Years Senior Center-Tuesdays from 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., October 28 - December 16.

Sussex County:
American Legion Post #28 - Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., September 23 - November 11.
Cheer Coastal Leisure Center - Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., October 2 - November 20.
Milford Senior Center - Fridays from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., October 3 - November 21.

Interested participants need to pre-register for classes. For more information or to register, contact: New Castle County, Susan Fox at 302-255-9690; Kent County, Rich Phillips at 302-834-9245, and in Sussex County, April Willey at 302-856-5815.

The CDC recommends the following prevention tips:

The National Council on Aging has also designated September 23, 2014 as Fall Prevention Awareness Day - visit www.ncoa.org/improve-health/center-for-healthy-aging/falls-prevention/falls-prevention-awareness-1.html . For additional information, go to www.cdc.gov or call the Delaware Office of Emergency Medical Services at 302-223-1350.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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