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The Home Safety Council's National Older Adults Falls Prevention Program Has Reached More than 5,000 Older Adult Activity Centers with Falls Prevention Education

Home Safety Council research shows that falls are the leading cause of home injury and related death, and older adults are at greatest risk of suffering a serious fall-related injury. In fact, every year an average of nearly 5,000 Americans age 65 and older die from a fall-related injury at home. In response to these statistics, the Home Safety Council developed the national Safe Steps program designed to educate older adults and their family members on how to reduce their risk of falling dangers.

“For an older adult, a fall can be a life-changing event leading to less mobility and independence, and even death,” said Home Safety Council president Meri-K Appy. “The Safe Steps program helps people learn how to maintain active and healthy lifestyles while minimizing the risk of serious fall-related injuries.”

The Safe Steps curriculum, which was distributed free of charge to 5,000 older adult activity centers nationwide, includes an instructional video, educational wall poster, and activities that can help track medications, exercise and assess overall home safety. To further its reach, materials are also available on the Home Safety Council's Web site, www.homesafetycouncil.org.

The national program promotes preventative low cost solutions and simple behavioral changes to enhance personal safety and independence. The Home Safety Council and the Safe Steps program advocate:

  • An Active Lifestyle – Including physical activity in one's daily routine helps to maintain balance, strength, and flexibility.
  • Medication Tracking – Consulting with your doctor or pharmacist annually to review all medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) and diet plans can help to reduce the risks of dizziness, weakness, and other side effects.
  • Home Modifications – Simple home improvements to reduce the risk of falls include installation of grab bars in bathtubs and shower stalls in the bathroom, removal of throw rugs (or securing them with adhesive tape), installing handrails on both sides of all stairways and using proper lighting around stairs and pathways.

Additionally, the Home Safety Council recommends wearing sturdy shoes with thin non slip soles as well as keeping stairways and walkways clear of clutter. The first of its kind curriculum has reached thousands of older adults through activity centers nationwide.

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