DOH campaign hopes to prevent seniors from sometimes fatal falls

DOH campaign hopes to prevent seniors from sometimes fatal falls

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On average, 94 Hawaii seniors die from fall-related injuries each year.

That's why the state Department of Health is launching its annual, month-long senior fall prevention awareness campaign starting June 18.

In addition to the high fall fatality rate, there are 1,940 hospitalizations and 8,050 emergency room visits from fall-related injuries.

And officials say those numbers are increasing.

The campaign will feature education videos, public service announcements, free medication reviews, balance tests, tai chi workshops and community presentations.

Statistics show that falls disproportionately affect the elderly, with the most vulnerable being 65-year-old and up.

"As our state's elderly population continues to grow, it is crucial to educate kupuna and their loved ones about how to best prevent falls and the injuries falls can cause," said Danette Wong Tomiyasu, DOH Deputy Director of Health Resources.

DOH advises seniors, family members and caregivers to take preventative measures to stop falls and other related injuries. They suggest having doctors and pharmacists review medications yearly. They also recommend getting an annual eye exam.

If seniors live alone, it may be in the best interest to get a personal electronic safety device and to remove any falling hazards in the home. Even creating a brighter, well-lit room can prevent an injury.

Exercising regularly can also increase balance and flexibility.

More information can be found the DOH's website.

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