BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Vermont Health Department and the Department of Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) is working together to reduce the number of falls in older adults by conducting life style adjustments and community services.
A press release says fall related injuries for Vermont seniors ages 65 and older account for nearly 5,000 emergency department visits, 1,600 injuries, and 120 deaths each year.
"Older people should be sure their vision is checked at least yearly and have up-to-date prescription eyeglasses," Commissioner of DAIL Susan Wehry, said. "Walking aids such as canes or walkers may seem inconvenient, but can be a major factor in maintaining independence."
Gov. Peter Shumlin has declared September 22 as Falls Prevention Awareness Day in an effort to unite professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members in preventing falls for older adults.
The Health Department says home safety improvements can make a difference in protecting older adults from falling. This includes reducing clutter, eliminating throw rugs, and tripping hazards, installing a second handrail on staircases, grab bars in the bathroom, adequate lighting throughout the home. Family members should be involved and can help assit older adults stay healthy and safe.
For more information about elder falls prevention, call the Vermont Agency on Aging at 1-800-642-5119 or visit the National Council on Aging at www.ncoa.org.
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