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Monday, September 26, 2011
Preventing falls is important for many older Floridians
Falls are the leading cause of injury, death, and disability for Floridians age 65 and over. As a state that ranks first in the nation in the percentage of its residents who are elders, educating our seniors and their caregivers on how to prevent falls in homes and assisted living and medical facilities is vital to the safety of our population.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately one-third of all Americans age 65 and older will suffer a fall each year. Particularly disturbing is the CDC's estimate of 1,800 annual deaths among nursing home residents from fall-related injuries. The most recent Florida Department of Health data show that in 2009, 1,714 Florida seniors suffered fatal injuries and 42,754 others were hospitalized for nonfatal injuries from falls.
Traumatic brain injuries were associated with 46 percent of the fall fatalities, while hip fractures related to 32 percent of deaths from falls.This issue is so critical in Florida that the state formed a Statewide Senior Falls Prevention Coalition, initiated by Florida's DOH Office of Injury Prevention and the Department of Elder Affairs. The coalition held its first meeting earlier this year.
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