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Chairman, Senator Michael Enzi R-WY, Announces Passage of Falls Free Legislation out of Committee

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP Committee), announced yesterday the passage of "The Keeping Seniors Safe from Falls and Reauthorization of the Traumatic Brain Injury Act," S.1531, an innovative bill designed to study the incidence and treatment of traumatic brain injury, and to expand research on approaches to fall prevention and treatment for America's senior citizens. The bill passed by unanimous voice vote.

"Anyone who has an elderly parent, relative, or friend who lives alone knows about the concern that comes with an unanswered phone call," said Enzi. "For many of our nation's elderly, a fall means serious injury. This act will help to prevent falls and ease our minds."

Enzi added that by the year 2030, as the baby boomer generation is added to the ranks of the elderly, the number of people over age 65 is expected to double, potentially doubling the number of elder falls. "Education, prevention and early intervention will reduce the occurrences and costs of falls," said Enzi. "This bill is an important step to securing the health and safety of America's seniors."

Enzi also commended Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) for her work and contributions to the prevention of falls among older adults.

"The Keeping Seniors Safe from Falls Act," will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to oversee and support national and local education campaigns focusing on reducing falls among older adults and preventing repeat falls. The bill also calls for the Secretary of HHS to evaluate the effect of falls on health care costs, the potential for reducing falls, and the most effective strategies for reducing fall-related health care costs.

The legislation also included the "Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization," reauthorizing a study through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine the incidence and prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), identify common therapeutic interventions, and develop rehabilitation guidelines. It also reauthorizes grant programs through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to coordinate TBI services, and continues valuable research programs conducted by the NIH.

The Home Safety Council applauded the passage of the legislation out of committee and expressed its thanks to Senators Enzi and Mikulski for their continued commitment and leadership in advancing solutions that address the risk of fall related injuries for older adults.

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