The New York Physical Therapy Association Supports a Strong Today – Falls Free® Tomorrow on Falls Prevention Awareness Day

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Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those 65 years of age and over. Every 14 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury.

'We can change this by bring greater attention to the many preventive measures that can be easily employed to keep our seniors safe' said Tracy Sawyer, PT, DPT, Vice President of the New York Physical Therapy Association.

New York is one of 48 states and the national Falls Free® Initiative declaring September 23, 2014, Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those 65 years of age and over. Every 14 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Every day because of a fall: 223 New Yorkers are seen in emergency departments; 140 New Yorkers are hospitalized; and two New Yorkers die. The chances of falling and of being seriously injured in a fall increase with age, according to the New York State Department of Health.

Falls account for over $1.7 billion in annual hospitalization charges and over $145.3 million in annual outpatient emergency department charges. Approximately 95% of the hospitalization charges are billed to publicly funded programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare. “We can change this by bringing greater attention to the many preventive measures that can be easily employed to keep our seniors safe” said Tracy Sawyer, PT, DPT, Vice President of the New York Physical Therapy Association.

This year’s theme, Strong Today – Falls Free® Tomorrow, highlights the important roles professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members play in raising awareness and preventing falls in the older adult population.

“Falls are not a normal part of aging and the resulting injuries can steal quality life from seniors and their families,” said Albert Terrillion, NCOA Senior Director, Clinical Community Partnerships. “This awareness day is an opportunity for older adults and their support communities to learn how to reduce falls risks so our seniors can stay independent for as long as possible.”

Studies show that a combination of interventions can significantly reduce falls among older adults. Experts recommend:

  • A physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components.
  • Consulting with a physical therapist or other health professional about getting a fall risk assessment.
  • Having medications reviewed periodically.
  • Getting eyes checked annually.
  • Making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.
  • Having an annual hearing assessment.

Physical therapists can help older adults gain strength, improve balance, and build confidence to help them live healthier lives and preserve their independence.

The New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA) – a component of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) - is part of the national Falls Free® Initiative, which includes more than 43 states and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies across the country dedicated to reducing fall-related injuries and deaths among older adults.

The NYPTA is encouraging its members to plan an event in conjunction with the 7th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day to raise awareness in their communities about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.. Members are able to utilize the resources available through the National Council on Aging FPAD website.

For more information, please visit http://www.ncoa.org/FPAD.

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About the Falls Free® Initiative
Led by the National Council on Aging, the Falls Free® Initiative includes more than 43 states and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies working collaboratively to bring education, awareness, and evidence-based solutions to local communities. Falls Free® seeks to provide hundreds of thousands of older Americans with the resources and education needed to reduce their risk of injury. For more information, please visit: http://www.ncoa.org/FallsFreeInitiative. Use #FPAD14 to join the conversation on social media.

About NCOA
The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for millions of older adults—especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged—and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit: http://www.ncoa.org |http://www.facebook.com/NCOAging | http://www.twitter.com/NCOAging

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Bibiana Braun
New York Physical Therapy Association
+1 (518) 459-4499 Ext: 205
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