NH DHHS - New Hampshire “Strong Today, Falls Free Tomorrow”

NH Observance Falls Prevention Awareness


Concord, NH –New Hampshire is joining other states and the national Falls

Free™ Coalition Tuesday, in observance of Falls Prevention Awareness Day

which is held on the first day of fall, September 23, 2014. This year’s

theme, Strong Today, Falls Free Tomorrow, seeks to raise awareness about

how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.

“It’s important to raise awareness about this issue, as falls and injuries

from falls are a serious health threat to our older adults and they are

preventable,” said New Hampshire Public Health Director Dr. José Montero.

“As our population ages, it’s important for all sectors involved in the

health of our seniors to realize that they play a role in helping our

seniors age better. This includes aging safely by encouraging healthy

behaviors such as being active, eating a balanced diet and taking

medications safely, all of which play a role in fall prevention.”

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for New

Hampshire residents age 65 and older. Approximately 105 people in New

Hampshire die every year due to some sort of fall. Through the New

Hampshire Falls Risk Reduction Task Force, the State and its partners have

been implementing falls reduction initiatives for over a decade.

New Hampshire’s activities have grown from one centralized event during the

first awareness day in 2008 to observances across the state this year.

Some examples of community events include a film on falls and discussion

panel, balance screens, community based classes in evidence based falls

reduction programs such as Matter of Balance and Tai Ji Quan: Moving for

Better Balance and more.

There are a number of things everyone can do to help prevent falls include:

1. 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


2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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


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

Awareness Day visit


. For more information about falls prevention and a list of events taking

place visit: http://www.nhfalls.org or

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html. To

learn about the Division of Public Health Services, Injury Prevention

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