The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person’s right to age well, is proud to join thousands of community-based organizations for Falls Prevention Awareness Week, September 20-24, 2021. NCOA and its partners are encouraging every older adult to complete a Falls Free CheckUp to quickly and easily assess their risk of falling and take steps to reduce that risk.
“Annual checkups are an important way to stay healthy as we age—and that includes checking your risk of falling every year,” said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President & CEO. “Our Falls Free CheckUp makes it easy. Just answer 12 questions, and you will get a personalized report identifying your potential risk—plus easy steps you can take right away to address it. The checkup is also available in Spanish as the Chequeo Contra Caídas.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-fourth of Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Falls result in more than 3 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 850,000 hospitalizations and more than 29,000 deaths.
“Despite these statistics, falling is not a normal part of aging, and they can be prevented,” said Kathleen Cameron, Senior Director of NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging. “We believe it is a team effort to empower all older adults to reduce their risk.”
This year, NCOA is partnering with the National Fire Protection Association to highlight the critical role its members play in falls prevention. When an older adult falls at home and needs help getting up, EMS and fire departments are often the first to arrive at the scene. Among people aged 65+, falls are the leading cause of emergency department visits and account for 17% of all 911 calls.
Along with the U.S. Administration for Community Living, NCOA sponsored a webinar series on the fire and falls connection this September. NCOA also created a comprehensive toolkit to help local organizations spread the word about falls prevention in their communities, as well as articles and videos in both English and Spanish for older adults and their caregivers.
Read more: Simple steps to reduce your risk of falling