-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
The U.S. Senate hopes to put an end to seniors falling. On September 22, 2009 the Senate labeled the day as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. By establishing this day, Senate hopes to curb injuries and fatalities in seniors due to falling.
Every year, one in three elderly persons experiences a fall of some sort. The falls can lead to some not too serious injuries, but also some excruciating pain. In 2007, 1.9 million senior citizens were treated in the emergency room after a fall and 492,000 were hospitalized.
According to the Center of Disease Control, over $19.2 billion is spent a year in treating elderly persons after a fall: $12 million to cover hospitalization costs, $4 million for emergency visits, and $3 billion for outpatient care.
Senator Enzi remarks, “By reducing the occurrences and costs of falls, we can help secure the health and safety of America’s seniors.”
This resolution hopes to increase education and awareness of falls, while also inquiring with state health care officials to reduce injury related health care costs in senior citizens. It also includes encouraging the Center of Disease Control to continue developing interventions to prevent falls that can also be used in community-based fall prevention groups, such as National Falls Free Coalition, Falls Free Coalition Advocacy Group and so on.