HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At the Hawaii Academy in Kalihi, Doctor Max Vercruyssen's staff is putting a group of seniors through a variety of exercises. He looks on proudly.
"The goal is really to avoid the falls, if they do have falls, to reduce the injuries," he says.
Vercruyssen is part of the State Department of Heath's initiative to cut the number of falls by Hawaii's senior population. He says being active is key.
"Lack of use is a real problem. Most of our problems in aging are from lack of use, not from disease or aging."
"8,000 Hawaii people fall every year and have to be transported by ambulance to an ER. That's almost one every hour," said Stan Michaels, the State's Injury Prevention Coordinator.
The cost is just as bad. Hospital and physician charges total more than 100 million dollars for those falls each year. An average of 86 seniors die from falls.