Fall Prevention Awareness Week - September 22 – 28, 2017
Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths, unintentional injuries, and hospital admissions for trauma. Falls can take a serious toll on older adults’ quality of life and independence. To recognize this critical issue, at the state level, SCR 77 (D-Lowenthal) was passed in 2008 declaring the first week of Fall each year as Fall Prevention Awareness Week.
At the heart of this initiative is the message that falls are preventable. During Fall Prevention Awareness Week, California’s fall prevention coalitions, health care providers, and senior service agencies will hold presentations, health fairs, screenings, and workshops to raise awareness among older adults and their families and caregivers, elder care professionals, and the general public about the seriousness of falls and ways to reduce fall risk.
Below are some ideas and resources to help you plan for Fall Prevention Awareness Week.
- Distribute a different flyer each day of the week – each having a fall prevention message with such topics as:
- Use the 2017 national theme, “10 Years Standing Together to Prevent Falls”
- Create a Fall Prevention display/bulletin board showing safety items
- Provide posters, fact sheets, and handouts to senior centers, hospitals, doctor offices, and other groups to post in lobbies, waiting rooms, and communal areas (FPAW Customizable Poster, fact sheets and handouts from the National Council on Aging)
- Organize fall prevention workshops
- Have a screening of The Falling Monologues or other falls prevention videos from the National Council on Aging’s falls prevention video contest
- Host a Fall Prevention Discussion Group
- Engage new partners such as the local fire department, libraries, and churches
- Print up placemats for dining tables with Fall Prevention messages (Version 1, Version 2, Version 3)
- Offer a Tai Chi demonstration
- Offer vision exams, blood pressure checks, foot exams, gait and balance assessments, bone density screenings, and medication reviews
- Invite students from nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy programs to assist with screenings and assessments
- Organize a walk (possibly with a neighborhood walking group) or hold a community walkability audit to promote safe pedestrian routes in your area
- Make/carry signs
- Write a slogan or chant to say while walking
- Write down areas where sidewalks are cracked or other hazards exist
- Create a final report to share with participants, the community, and use to help address identified hazards
- Click here for walkability resources (scroll down to Walkability section)
- Arrange a “Sloppy Slipper Swap” – in return for old, unsafe footwear, give out night lights or non-skid strips for bathtubs and showers
- Contact local newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and blogs and let them know about your Fall Prevention Awareness Week activities
- Involve your friends and partners in Fall Prevention Awareness Week by posting on Facebook and Twitter
- Obtain a Proclamation for Fall Prevention Awareness Week from your City Council and/or County Board of Supervisors (Resources from NCOA)
Are you wondering how you’ll know if your FPAW event has been successful?
National Fall Prevention Awareness Day, September 22nd