FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stay Independent and Active:
Join Falls Free Vermont this September to Raise Awareness & Take Action!
August 25, 2016 – At Falls Free Vermont we have a vision in which all Vermonters are able to age with health and independence. There is good evidence that people will fall less often if they pay attention to some basic elements in their health and environment. Working in coalition with communities across the state, using strategies proven to succeed, we believe that together we will improve the quality of life of older Vermonters by reducing preventable falls. Please join us this September to raise awareness and encourage a senior you know to be screened and take action.
In our beautiful state of Vermont, leaves are supposed to fall, but people are not!
Unfortunately, 1 in 3 people over 65 fall each year, often leading to serious injuries and physical decline; sometimes death. The good news is that the vast majority of falls are preventable and Falls Free Vermont, a coalition of public and private partners across the state, is working hard to educate individuals, health care providers, and whole communities to take simple steps to reduce falls risk. Throughout the month of September there will be free individual screenings offered at various locations across the state, and once screened, Vermonters will be directed to more resources, such as local Tai Chi and exercise classes, proven to help reduce risk of falls through increased strength and balance.
Vermont is ranked 41st worst in the nation for the state’s high prevalence of falls, costing both families and our healthcare system greatly. Paramedic Jay Wood of Newport Ambulance sees this first-hand on a daily basis. “Falls are our number one 911 call, even surpassing chest pain or respiratory distress,” he says. “Over 5,000 Vermonters visit the Emergency Department for falls every year.” With a rapidly aging population, Vermont cannot afford to continue this trend.
Wood encourages older adults to take action. “Falls can be prevented. We encourage people to stay independent by talking to their doctor or family about falls, using a falls prevention program and staying active.”
Are you, a family member, a friend or a neighbor worried about falling? How do you know the risks and what should you do? What resources to stay healthy and maintain good balance and strength are available in your community? Find more information at http://www.med.uvm.edu/centeronaging/researchresources/fallsprevention or call the statewide Senior HelpLine at 1-800-642-5119.