Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved a resolution, authored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, and cosponsored by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, marking September 23nd (the first day of the fall season) as “National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.”
“Falls-related injuries have a devastating impact on older Americans, their families, and their communities,” said Senator Collins. “This resolution brings awareness to the impact of this issue and also demonstrates some practical initiatives that can be taken to make falls among older Americans a far less common occurrence.”
“Each year, approximately 30 percent of older Americans will experience a fall. For many seniors, a fall or fear of falling can significantly impact their quality of life,” said Senator Casey. “I am pleased that this resolution calls attention to the importance of falls prevention and the opportunities for communities to work together to ensure the health and well-being of older Americans.”
This resolution urges relevant federal, state, and local organizations to educate seniors about ways they can reduce the risks that may result from a fall, including injury and even death. It also recognizes that evidence-based programs reduce falls by using cost-effective strategies, such as exercise programs, medication management, vision improvement, reduction of home hazards, and fall prevention education.
“Falls prevention is a team effort that takes a balance of education, intervention, and community support,” said Kathleen Cameron, Senior Director of the National Council on Aging’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center. “Falls Prevention Awareness Day is an opportunity to empower and educate everyone about their roles in preventing falls.”
Older adults are the fastest growing age group in the United States, and the number is projected to increase from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million in 2060. In 2018, approximately three million older adults were treated in emergency rooms after falling. In 2017, nearly 31,000 older adults died from injuries related to unintentional falls.
Last week, Senators Collins and Casey sent letters to four federal agencies—the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs—requesting information about their falls prevention programs.
Next month, Senators Collins and Casey will hold an Aging Committee hearing where they will release the Committee’s report on reducing the risk of falls and fall-related injuries.
In addition to Senators Collins and Casey, the resolution is cosponsored by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Doug Jones (D-AL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).
Click HERE to read the resolution.