Quinnipiac University will host its annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day event from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on the North Haven Campus, 370 Bassett Road. This event, which will take place on the first day of fall, is free and open to area senior citizens.
“Every 11 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury, and every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall,” said Christine Kasinskas, a clinical assistant professor of physical therapy at Quinnipiac who is one of the event’s organizers. “This event is designed to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.”
Those who attend will visit a model apartment at Quinnipiac that will be set up with fall risks, including rugs that aren’t properly anchored or walkers that are poorly maintained. They also will learn how installing additional lighting and grab bars in key areas can help reduce falls.
In addition to keeping their homes safe, participants will learn about the importance of finding a good balance and exercise program; asking their health care provider to perform an assessment on their risk for a fall and their bone density; monitoring medications with physicians or pharmacists; and having regular vision and hearing checks.
Students from Quinnipiac’s schools of medicine, health sciences and nursing will take part in a case study panel discussion on a fall and present posters on their research on falls.
According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including more than 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
In 2013, the total cost of fall injuries was $34 billion. The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
“Falling is not an inevitable result of aging,” Kasinskas said. “Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based falls preventions programs and clinical community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced.”
To register or for more information, please call 203-582-3144.