The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) and the Knoxville-Knox County Senior Safety Task Force will celebrate National Falls Prevention Awareness Day with a free, educational event on Friday, Sept. 21 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the John T. O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona Street.
“Falls continue to be a major health threat for older adults. They often result in injuries and can even reduce their ability to remain independent,” said KCHD Public Health Educator Rachel Frazier. “But there are proven ways to reduce falls. And that’s just what we plan to share with seniors, their caretakers and adult children at this event.”
One such way is through exercise programs that are designed to give seniors better balance, flexibility, and more strength. The KCHD offers a program called S.A.I.L. – an evidence-based program designed to prevent falls (watch the video above and for more info on S.A.I. L. click here).
Attendees will have the opportunity to receive balance, vision and bone health screenings, as well as an opportunity to talk to a pharmacist about their medications. Speakers at this event include Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.8 million adults aged 65 and older are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries each year and more than 800,000 are hospitalized. One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. The direct medical costs of falls in 2015 totaled more than $50 billion. Locally, in 2016, falls were the primary reason Knox County adults aged 65 years or older went to the hospital.
Sponsored by the National Council on Aging for the past ten years, National Falls Prevention Awareness Day seeks to unite professionals, older adults, caregivers and family members to raise awareness and prevent falls in the older adult population. KCHD convened the Knoxville-Knox County Senior Safety Task Force in 2008 to address concerns about falls in the older population.