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Home News New Mexico Adult Falls Death Rate Decreases
Paul Rhien
505-470-2290 Office

New Mexico Adult Falls Death Rate Decreases

September 26, 2017 - Older Adult Falls - Awareness

Governor Martinez Declares Friday as Adult Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Today, the New Mexico Department of Health NMDOH reports that the state’s death rate from falls among adults ages 65 and over declined more than 12 percent in 2016 from the 2015 rate, when New Mexico had the fourth-highest older adult falls rate in the nation. 2016 national data has not yet been released.

There were 317 older adult falls deaths statewide in 2016, compared to 347 deaths in 2015. More than 14 percent of New Mexicans are 65 years of age or older, and by 2030, New Mexico is expected to have the fourth highest population of residents 65 and over in the nation. That’s why Governor Susana Martinez has proclaimed Friday, September 22nd as Fall Prevention Awareness Day in New Mexico.

“Because injuries from falls are largely preventable, it is critical that New Mexico seniors become aware of the simple measures they can take to minimize the risk factors that can cause a fall,” said New Mexico Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “Physical activity can help older adults improve balance and prevent falls. Older New Mexicans take pride in the ability to live independently, and this education and awareness effort will make it safer for them to continue to do so.”

The New Mexico Department of Health currently supports three fall prevention programs for older adults:

  • Otago, a program for home-bound adults.
  • A Matter of Balance (MOB), a community-based program that emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels.
  • Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, a fall prevention program for community-dwelling older adults.

Later this year, NMDOH will also be offering Tai Chi for Arthritis as a fourth evidence-based fall prevention program in New Mexico.

The objectives for these programs are to improve strength, balance, mobility and daily functioning in older adults while reducing the risk of fall and injury. Staying physically active in these programs, in addition to making the home safer and having a health care provider check annually for vision problems and risky medications, are key strategies to preventing falls among older adults. There are currently over 74 fall prevention instructors in 16 New Mexico counties and 14 Native American Pueblos.

Older adults interested in participating in one of these fall prevention programs or who would like more information about resources related to fall-prevention and/or Fall Prevention Awareness Day may contact Lynne Ritchie, NMDOH Adult Fall Prevention Coordinator, at 505-476-3082.

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Disminuye la Tasa de Mortalidad de Adultos en Nuevo México