With over one in four Americans age 65+ falling each year, NCOA provides facts, tools, and fall prevention strategies to help keep older adults safe.
Falls Prevention Awareness Week is Sept. 18-24, with a theme of Strengthening Community Connections in Falls Prevention.
Public Relations Manager
Falls Prevention Awareness Week spotlights steps older adults can take to remain injury-free
Arlington, VA (August 29, 2022) – The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person’s right to age well, is proud to join thousands of community-based organizations nationwide for Falls Prevention Awareness Week, Sept. 18-24, 2022.
Since 2007, NCOA has sponsored this annual event during the first week of fall to spotlight the prevalence and cost of falls among older adults, as well as evidence-based falls prevention programs and steps individuals can take to reduce their risk.
As part of this year’s event, NCOA and the CDC Foundation are launching a new and improved Falls Free CheckUp, an online tool to help older adults check their risk for a fall and learn how to reduce it. The tool asks 13 yes/no questions and produces a score showing whether a person is at normal or high risk for a fall. It also provides recommended next steps, such as speaking with a doctor and falls prevention tips and resources. Individuals can sign up for reminders to schedule an appointment with their doctor and take the Falls Free CheckUp again in 6 months to see if their risk has changed.
“Regular checkups are an important way to stay healthy as we age—and that includes checking your risk for a fall,” said Kathleen Cameron, Senior Director at NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging. “Falls threaten older adults’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. The Falls Free CheckUp makes it easy to learn your risk and discover steps to reduce it.”
The questions in the Falls Free CheckUp are the same as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Stay Independent Checklist. Researchers have compared these questions to physician judgment to see how well they predict falls risk. CDC provided scientific support for the Falls Free CheckUp, and it was developed with assistance from NORC at the University of Chicago and supported by Amgen.
According to CDC, more than one-fourth of Americans age 65+ falls each year, and falls result in more than 3 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations.
“An important aspect of aging well and living a healthy life is identifying and addressing risk factors,” said Lisa Waddell, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer for the CDC Foundation.
“Falls Prevention Awareness Week is a great time to remind older adults that there are steps they can take to stay safer and reduce their risk of injury.”
Throughout Falls Prevention Awareness Week, community-based organizations and health care providers across the country will be sharing the Falls Free CheckUp, as well as providing education, in-person screenings, and evidence-based falls prevention programs to encourage older adults to understand and reduce their risk. NCOA offers a promotion toolkit to help local organizations spread the word. This year’s theme is Strengthening Community Connections in Falls Prevention.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or ZIP code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more by following us at @NCOAging.