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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Date: September 26, 2013


Falls are the most common cause of injuries and injury-related deaths in senior citizens. Falls cost emotionally in terms of life changes; falls cost physically in terms of pain and disability; and falls have an economic impact costing 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 proclaimed Sept. 22-28 as Fall Prevention Awareness Week. Delawareans are urged to support fall prevention strategies for seniors such as: regular exercise, professional eye examinations, adequate nutrition, a medication review with their health care provider, and home safety improvements.

Nationally, one out of three seniors aged 65 and older will experience a fall, though falling is not an inevitable risk of aging, said MarySue Jones, RN, MS. Jones is the Trauma System and Injury Prevention Program Manager in Delaware's Division of Public Health's Office of Emergency Medical Services.

"Falls can be prevented by understanding and respecting the needs of the senior population," Jones said. "Seniors should wear low, non-slip shoes to provide better and more stable support. Living spaces should be well-lit and uncluttered. Actually, people of all ages can benefit from fall prevention strategies."

Delaware Health and Social Services and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) are holding free fall-prevention classes statewide. Upcoming classes of "A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls" are scheduled for Sept. 24 and Oct. 2, 3, and 4. For more information or to register for the free classes, contact: in New Castle County: Susan Fox, 302-255-9690; in Kent County: Carol Lettieri, 302-734-1200; and in Sussex County: April Willey, 302-856-5815.

Follow these fall prevention tips from the CDC:

For more information, visit or call the Delaware Office of Emergency Medical Services at (302) 223-1350.

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.