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DHSS Press Release

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

Date: September 19, 2016


DOVER, DE (September 19, 2016) - Nationally, one out of three seniors age 65 and older experiences a fall. That's why the Delaware Coalition for Injury Prevention (DCIP), the Division of Public Health (DPH), the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD), and community partners are working collectively to prevent falls and share resources. On Sept. 22, 2016, the National Council on Aging is celebrating National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Additionally, Governor Jack Markell has proclaimed the week of September 18-24, 2016 as Falls Prevention Awareness Week, and is urging all Delawareans to support fall prevention strategies, especially for older adults.

According to the Delaware Hospital Discharge Summary Report of 2010, falls were the cause of 89 percent of all hip fractures, 70 percent of upper limb fractures, 55 percent of intracranial injuries, and 57 percent of spinal cord injuries of those admitted to Delaware hospitals.

On Sept. 22, the DCIP Falls Prevention Team invites the public to a free event hosted by the Modern Maturity Center, located at 1121 Forrest Ave., Dover, DE 19904. From noon to 1:00 p.m. representatives from Bayhealth Medical Center, Christiana Care Health System, Easter Seals, Volunteer Delaware 50+, and the A Matter of Balance program will present practical fall prevention strategies, strengthening exercises, and demonstrate how to correctly get up from a fall. In addition, information, resources, and giveaways will be available.

"Older adults want to stay active, independent, and safe in their homes and communities, but many worry about their risk of falling," said Diana Curtis, RN of DCIP. "One in three Americans over the age of 65 falls every year, but falling is not a normal part of aging. Every older adult has the power to prevent a fall."

Curtis recommends that all Delawareans support a ready, steady, and balanced lifestyle with these goals:

Be Ready: Education is the most important step to being ready to prevent a fall. Resources are available online and through community organizations to help older adults understand their risk of falling. Evidence-based programs, such as A Matter of Balance, help individuals address their concerns about falling while building strength and flexibility through easy but effective exercises.

Be Steady: Older adults can be steady if they take simple steps to prevent falls.

Be Balanced: Preventing falls requires a balance of education, preparation, and community support. Governor Markell's proclamation says fall prevention strategies support overall health and the ability of all persons to live well and age in place. Communities and families can contribute to this effort by maintaining walkways, painting curbs and slopes, installing handrails, and providing ramps, automatic doors, and curb cuts for people with mobility issues.

More information about falls, injury prevention, and services and supports for older adults are available through these resources:

For more information about DCIP's Falls Prevention Team, contact Diana L. Curtis, RN, MSN, CSTR at 302-744-6295 or

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

About the Falls Free Initiative
Led by the National Council on Aging, the Falls Free Initiative includes 43 states and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies working collaboratively to bring education, awareness, and evidence-based solutions to local communities. Falls Free seeks to provide hundreds of thousands of older Americans with the resources and education needed to reduce their risk of injury. For more information, please visit:

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, and 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.