State aims to raise awareness about preventable falls among seniors

State aims to raise awareness about preventable falls among seniors

By Erica Barry
HNN Summer Intern

HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every year, over 8,000 seniors are rushed to the emergency room for fall-related injuries.

That troubling statistic is what the statewide Senior Fall Prevention Awareness Campaign is meant to address.

Last year's campaign was recognized as "the finest fall prevention awareness campaign in the nation," by the White House Conference on Aging. This year's campaign is even bigger.

During the campaign, Safeway pharmacists will conduct free in-store reviews of medications (by appointment), as well as balance tests for seniors.

Meanwhile, the City Mill store on Nimitz Highway will host fall prevention and safety specialists from the Department of Health. They will explain the latest assistive safety devices on July 9 and August 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

And all summer, tai chi for arthritis/fall prevention classes will be offered at more than 33 locations statewide. For the full class schedule, click here.

"Almost every hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a senior is transported by ambulance to an emergency room in our state because of a fall injury," said Dr. Virginia Pressler, director of the state Department of Health. "Yet many falls and fall-related injuries can be prevented with existing knowledge and technology."

Some tips from the campaign to prevent falls:

  • Have a doctor review medications every year.
  • Get an annual eye exam.
  • Exercise regularly to increase balance and flexibility.

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