September is National Falls Prevention Awareness Month

September 12, 2014 at 6:07 am Leave a comment

The National Council on Aging  (NCOA) has dedicated September 23, 2014 as the 7th Annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.  Rightly so, as according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • One-third of Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
  • Every 14 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 29 minutes, an older adult dies following a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
  • Falls result in more than 2.4 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 772,000 hospitalizations and more than 21,700 deaths.
  • In 2012, the total cost of fall injuries was over $36 billion.
  • The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $59.6 billion by 2020.

I am dedicating this blog in celebration of Falls Prevention Awareness month and day.

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) have come a long way since the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” commercial.  So many of us remember that commercial–a sobering reminder that many people may fall in their home and not have access to help.  Did you know that commercial was created in 1987?  The truth is, people don’t just fall when they are in their house–they can fall anywhere.  Having a PERS that meets a person’s needs, whether it can be accessed when inside the home, outside of the home when picking vegetables in the garden, or when out shopping at your local farmer’s market.  The PERS of today allow for these choices.  

In my last ADVANCE for occupational therapists magazine online column, I discuss the changes that have occurred within the personal emergency response system market over the last two decades and some considerations when choosing a device that meets current and potential long-term needs.  The article was written with occupational therapists as the audience in mind, but I wanted to share it with you!  Here is a link to learn more about Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS).

Entry filed under: Assistive Technology, Home Safety. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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