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DHSS Press Release

Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: September 14, 2018


DOVER, DE (Sept. 14, 2018) - Falls among older adults are the leading cause for injury deaths and non-fatal injuries, including hip and brain injuries. Falls are painful and can be disabling, leading to drastic life changes and costing an average of $30,000 per fall injury in hospital expenses alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The number of seniors over 64 admitted to Delaware hospitals for treatment of fall injuries rose from 2,007 in 2013 to 2,264 in 2017, according to the Delaware Trauma System Registry.

To encourage Delawareans to support fall prevention strategies, Governor John Carney and Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long have proclaimed the week of Sept. 16-Sept. 22 as Falls Prevention Awareness Week in Delaware. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) designates the first day of the fall season as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, which is Sept. 22 this year.

Locally, the Delaware Coalition for Injury Prevention (DCIP) Falls Prevention Team, along with state and community partners, will host a free public falls prevention program from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Modern Maturity Center, 1121 Forrest Ave., Dover. An instructor from the Modern Maturity Center will demonstrate the practice of Tai Chi in the main lunchroom. Exercise is one of the top five actions a person can take to prevent falls, according to the CDC.

Representatives from Bayhealth Medical Center, Christiana Care Health System, Easterseals Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore, EmpowerAbility, Inc., Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Volunteer Delaware 50+, and the A Matter of Balance program will be on hand to provide tips, information and resources about preventing falls.

The coalition's Falls Prevention Team recommends that seniors reduce their risk of falling by accessing both online and community resources, such as taking A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi, gardening or dance class to build strength and flexibility through easy and effective exercises. Older adults can remain steady on their feet if they stay active and exercise regularly. They should discuss concerns about falls with their primary care provider and review medications with a doctor or pharmacist, and have their hearing and vision checked and corrected as needed. They can further prevent falls by getting adequate sleep and nutrition and by removing fall hazards in their living spaces.

Communities can join this effort to reduce risk factors and support the overall health and the ability of all persons to live well and age in place. Municipalities, businesses, schools, and organizations can maintain walkways, paint curbs and slopes, install handrails, and provide ramps, automatic doors, and curb cuts to assist people of all ages to avoid falls.

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

For more information about the DCIP's Falls Prevention Team, contact Diana Curtis at 302-744-6295 or The Division of Public Health's Office of Emergency Medical Services staffs the DCIP, which includes volunteers, business owners, health care institutions, and state and local government agencies. The DCIP's vision is a safe, injury-free Delaware.

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

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.

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.