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Bill Would Increase Federal Falls Prevention Activities

On March 13, 2008, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 3701, the Keeping Seniors Safe from Falls Act of 2007, a bipartisan bill introduced by Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ralph Hall (R-TX). Earlier in 2007, the Senate had passed companion bill S. 845, the Safety of Seniors (SOS) Act of 2007, introduced by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and co-sponsored by Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Herb Kohl (D-WI). These bills would authorize increased federal activity related to falls prevention for older Americans.

Each year, one in three older Americans (65 and older) falls and about 30% of those who fall require medical treatment. The most recent data shows that 1.8 million older adults were treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls, 433,000 were hospitalized, and nearly 16,000 died.

To read the full text of the bill, click here.

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