Preventing Falls—One Step at a Time: National Fall Prevention Awareness Day
The first day of Fall coincides with the National Council on Aging’s Fall Prevention Awareness Day, announced Ethical Alternative Products, supplier of complementary products for countering neuromusular damaging oxidative stress and for maintaining healthy joints.
The Center for Healthy Aging section of the National Council on Aging (NCOA) will be celebrating the 6th Annual National Falls Prevention Day on September 22nd. Most Americans are unaware that falls are the leading cause of injury death in older populations. One in three community-dwelling persons over the age of 65 falls each year, and this number increases to one in two by the age of 80. Fall-related injuries are often serious enough to result in hospitalization and even premature death; moreover, persons who fall often face significant declines in mobility and independence. CDC’s Injury Center monitors falls, fall-related injuries, and associated costs, reporting:
· In 2009, more than 20,400 older Americans died from injuries related to unintentional falls.
· In 2010, over 2.3 million older Americans were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries from falls and more than 662,000 were hospitalized.
CDC reports the death rate from falls among older adults has increased by 42% from 2000 to 2006. The total cost of fall injuries for older Americans was estimated to be $30 billion (in 2010 dollars). By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $54.9 billion.
In addition to pain and suffering, and the high cost of rehabilitation, falls with or without injury also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and often self-limit activities and social engagements, resulting in further physical decline, depression, and social isolation.
This potentially bleak future for aging Americans is not inevitable, as evidence-based interventions that target individual risk factors for falling have been shown to reduce falls and promote falls self-efficacy. Recognizing that falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs, the NCOA in collaboration with the Archstone Foundation and the Home Safety Council drafted a National Action Plan to raise awareness and foster partnerships with community based organizations.
A primary goal of the National Action Plan is to assure that all older adults will have knowledge of, and access to, effective programs and services that preserve or improve their physical mobility and lower the risk of falls. The HCOA partner Healthy Moves cites a Cal State study that shows that physically active individuals drop their rate of functional loss by 50% when tested in the Senior Fitness Test.
“The products offered by Ethical Alternative Products provide seniors who want to remain physically active, valuable support for their own efforts to adhere to a healthy diet and active lifestyle” stated Gerald Bruno, Ph.D. CEO and Senior Scientist at Ethical Alternative Products. “ThioGel high bioavailability alpha lipoic acid is particularly active in combating the oxidative stress that is a major factor in neuromuscular degeneration, and OmniFlex is a particularly effective multi-nutrient joint health supplement,” stated Bruno.