NH DHHS - NH to Observe Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 23rd

Concord, NH - New Hampshire joins 42 other states and the national Falls

Free™ Coalition in declaring a statewide Falls Prevention Awareness Day on

the first day of fall, September 23, 2011.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries for New Hampshire residents

65 and older. Approximately 105 older Granite Staters die every year

because of a fall and the rate has risen, particularly for females, over

the past 10 years. Fortunately, the rates for hospitalizations and

emergency department visits have not changed significantly over the last

decade for males and females together.

“Falls among New Hampshire residents cost approximately $70.4 million per

year in just hospitalization and emergency room visits alone,” said Dr.

José Montero, Director of the Division of Public Health Services at the NH

Department of Health and Human Services. “We need to raise awareness about

preventive measures that can help keep seniors safe in New Hampshire.”

Through the New Hampshire Falls Risk Reduction Task Force, the State has

been implementing falls reduction initiatives for over a decade.

Appropriate screening and assessment by a health care provider is often the

first step. On Friday September 23rd, members of the Task Force are

facilitating a wide range of activities throughout the State, focusing on

just such screenings and assessments. At Horseshoe Pond Place in Concord at

10:30 am, the Task Force is co-sponsoring, along with the Concord Regional

Visiting Nurse Association, Concord Fire Department, and Concord Hospital’s

Rehabilitation Services, a one-stop shop for various checks including a

medication review, eye check, and balance screening. Participants will also

hear about the unique and innovative collaboration between the home care

agency and fire department.

Four easy things everyone can do to help prevent falls include:

Increase your physical activity. Simple exercise, like walking or

swimming at least 15 minutes a day can help build muscle strength and

improve balance, which can prevent falls. Exercise programs such as

Tai Chi that increase strength and improve balance are especially


See your eye doctor once a year. Age-related eye diseases, such as

cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, can

increase the risk of falling. Early detection is key to minimizing

the effects of these conditions.

Review your medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the

medicines you are taking and ask whether they may cause drowsiness or

dizziness. Discuss things you can do to ensure you are taking your

medicines safely.

Remove environmental hazards. Look around the house for anything that

could increase the risk of falls, including poor lighting, loose

rugs, slippery floors, and unsteady furniture. Remove or modify these


Fore more information about the Falls Free™ Coalition or Falls Prevention

Awareness Day visit

http://www.healthyagingprograms.org/content.asp?sectionid=149. To learn

more about fall prevention go to

http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/index.html. To learn

about the Division of Public Health Services, Injury Prevention Program go

to http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/mch/injury.htm.