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Falls Prevention Awareness Day is on September 22 at the start of the fall season and it’s a very serious matter that we all need to be paying attention to. It’s the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits and the day is used to address this public health issue. Falls can be more dangerous than they might seem. They can cause bruising, hip fractures, and head injuries, and these accidents have the potential to be fatal, especially for the elderly which means that they deserve extra attention to make sure they’re protected.
History of Falls Prevention Awareness Day
As people get older, many of their faculties begin to weaken. Eyesight becomes poorer, muscles deteriorate as does coordination. In 1972, Psychology professor Dibner saw a way to help the elderly during this phase of their life. Dibner came up with an idea for a personal emergency response system when they were injured and unable to get to a phone. They could use the device to call for help and in 1976 he was awarded the patent for Lifeline Systems.
Dibner’s invention took off. It gave the elderly the assistance they needed, and their loved ones a sense of relief knowing that they had direct access to medical services. In 1987, Life Alert was created by Isaac Shepher. This gadget could be worn as a necklace or a wristband with an automated dialer that connected to a telephone line. As more emergency response systems were created, they became more accessible, and they were able to help more people in need.
In the 1990s, Life Alert became known by everyone because of its memorable commercial. It showed an elderly woman that falls and uses the medical alert pendant by saying the catchphrase “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” which became famous. The brand visibility of this commercial helped get more of these devices into homes.
In 2007, four state falls prevention coalitions observed Falls Prevention Awareness Day on a state level. The next year, The Falls Free State Coalitions on Falls Prevention Workgroup requested that Falls Prevention Awareness Day be on the first day of fall. Since then, many states have come together to help solve the problem of public health issues related to fallen injuries by working with medical professionals and supporters.
Falls Prevention Awareness Day timeline
Dr. Andrew Dibner, a gerontologist, was the first person to think of a life alert service that could call for emergency help when an elderly person is unable to get to their phone. It was known as the Automatic Alarm System.
Psychology professor Dibner is awarded the patent for Lifeline medical alert services.
Isaac Shepher creates Life Alert, a medical alert pendant that can be worn as a necklace or a wristband.
Life Alert commercials become memorable with the catchphrase, "I've fallen and I can't get up!"
Falls Prevention Awareness Day starts at the beginning of the fall season and more states join in as the years go on.
Falls Prevention Awareness Day FAQs
What are the most common causes of falls?
Many things including lower body weakness, Vitamin D deficiency, difficulties balancing, use of medicines that affect cognitive abilities, vision problems, foot pain and poor footwear are some of them.
What happens after a fall?
Injuries can range from minimal to severe and include broken bones, head injuries, and an increased fear of falling.
Where can I donate?
You can donate at www.ncoa.org.
How To Observe Falls Prevention Awareness Day
Spend time with the elderly
Spend some time with an elderly person that you know and let them know that you’re there for them. Senior citizens can often feel like they’re a burden to their family and friends. Remind them that you’re there if they need anything and ensure that they’re taking care of themselves.
Celebrate with education-based activities
There are state and national activities that you can take part in. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) celebrates Falls Prevention Awareness Day with screening education, advocacy activities, and community-based falls prevention programs. Get informed and get active to spread awareness.
Become an activist for the elderly
There are small yet important things that can make life easier for the elderly. Look around your home and community and consider how they can be affected by the environment. Check for stairs without handrails, slippery bathtubs that could use mats, and uneven floors and bring them up to the proper parties to provide a safer space.
Five Facts About Falls Prevention Awareness Day
Falls per second
An adult aged 65 or older falls every second of the day in the United States.
The price of falling
Medicare costs of falls that require medical treatment were more than $31 billion in 2015.
Injury per year
More than 3 million older adults are treated for fall-related injuries each year.
Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
Falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide.
Why Falls Prevention Awareness Day Is Important
Respect your elders
It’s said that we are to judge a society by how it treats the weakest members. By that rationale, we need to be doing more for our elderly who are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It speaks to our character as a nation and they deserve that respect.
Injuries will worsen if we don’t do something
If we don't prevent these falls, another is likely to happen, and it could be possibly fatal the next time. When an elderly person falls, the injuries that they sustain can limit their mobility afterward, making getting around that much more difficult. By helping to minimize the first one, we can lower these incidences.
More time with the elderly
Those that are advanced in age already have a limited time with us and we need to treasure every moment we have with them. By spreading awareness and ensuring that their health is protected gives us more of these moments to create cherished memories with our loved ones.
Falls Prevention Awareness Day dates