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Home News Falls are Leading Cause of Emergency Room Visits and Hospitalizations for 65+
David Morgan
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Falls are Leading Cause of Emergency Room Visits and Hospitalizations for 65+

September 20, 2016 - Older Adult Falls - Awareness

Governor Martinez proclaims September 22 “New Mexico Fall Prevention Awareness Day”

This is a copy of the “Fall Prevention Awareness Day” proclamation for the state of New Mexico dated August 16, 2016.Governor Susanna Martinez, in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico Adult Fall Prevention Coalition, the Healthy Aging Collaborative, and Aging and Long Term Services Department, are working together to raise awareness that older adult falls are not a normal part of aging and many falls are preventable. Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and injury-related deaths for New Mexico residents 65 and older.

Governor Susana Martinez has declared September 22nd, the first day of fall, as statewide Fall Prevention Awareness Day. New Mexico residents are urged to support fall prevention strategies for seniors such as: regular exercise, professional eye examinations, an adequate level of Vitamin D (specifically found to reduce the risk of falls) a medication review with their health care provider and home safety improvements. Nationally, one out of three seniors age 65 and older will experience a fall — that’s 12 million people in the United States.

“When older adults fall, it often leads to a loss of independence and reduced mobility, but falls can be prevented by understanding the needs of New Mexico seniors," said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Lynn Gallagher. "Seniors should wear low, non-slip shoes to provide better and more stable support. Living spaces should be well-lit and uncluttered."

Falls are the leading cause of unintentional (accidental) injury death among adults 65 years of age and older in the United States and in New Mexico. The majority of injuries from falls that lead to death were hip fracture and traumatic brain injury. A serious injury from a fall can limit mobility and independent living. Falls also can increase the risk of early death. Many people who fall develop a fear of falling, and may become more sedentary. Yet, most falls are preventable and not a normal part of aging.The latest state data shows 347 adults 65 and over who fell died from their injuries in 2015. The 2015 fall death rate for seniors was 104.3 per 100,000 people, up slightly from 102.2 per 100,000, in 2014.  Please visit our Death from Falls Injury Data page for health data.

A combination of interventions can significantly reduce adult falls.  These include physical activity with balance and strength training; getting a fall risk assessment by a health care provider; having medications reviewed periodically; getting eyes checked annually; and making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.

National Falls Prevention Awareness Day is observed across the country, with this year’s theme of “Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016”.

For additional information, visit the New Mexico Adult Fall Prevention Coalition website.

Media Contact

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Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

Las caídas son la causa principal de las visitas a urgencias y hospitalizaciones para los nuevomexicanos a partir de los 65 años