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Statewide Fall Prevention Campaign Begins to Reduce Coupon Fall Injuries

Posted on June 23, 2022 in Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Department of Health of Hawaii (DOH) and the Hawaiian Fall Prevention Consortium are launching a nationwide campaign to reduce fall injuries from kupuna. Campaign runs until July 17 and includes new public service announcements, tai chi lessons, tai chi instructor workshop, senior drug reviews, fall protection workshops, and community presentations on fall prevention for seniors .

“Almost every hour, an elderly person is taken by ambulance to the emergency room in our state due to a fall injury. However, many falls and fall-related injuries can be prevented with current knowledge and technology,” said Dr. Alvin Bronstein, Head of Emergency Medicine and Injury Prevention Systems. “The Department of Health is pleased to continue this valuable program to help ensure the safety and well-being of seniors in Hawaii.”

Each year from 2016 to 2021 in Hawaii, an average of 144 elderly people died, 2,251 people were hospitalized, and 10,046 people went to emergency rooms due to unintentional falls.

Older people are disproportionately affected by falls. Statistics show that people over 65 are the most vulnerable. Falls have an emotional and physical impact on both the elderly and their caregivers, resulting in significant financial losses for families and the health care system; In 2021, hospitals and doctors suffered more than $223 million in fall-related injuries in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Fall Prevention Consortium was founded in 2003 with the support and guidance of the Department of Health’s Injury Prevention and Control Program. The consortium includes government agencies, professional associations, non-profit organizations, hospitals and top level organizations.

The Department of Health offers the following important tips for older adults, their families, and caregivers to help prevent falls and fall-related injuries that can limit mobility and independence:

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines annually;
  • Pass an annual eye examination;
  • If you live alone, get a personal electronic safety device;
  • Make your home safer by eliminating fall hazards and improving lighting; as well as
  • Exercise regularly to improve balance and flexibility.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, evidence-based exercise programs such as tai chi for health can increase strength and improve balance, which greatly reduces the chance of falls.

The Hawaii Fall Prevention Program was recognized as one of the “best public awareness campaigns in the country” during the National Council on Aging (NCOA) Fall Prevention Conference last year in Alexandria, Virginia.

Fall prevention presentations “Aging is not for the weak”

This award-winning presentation will continue in various locations around Oahu and neighboring islands in anticipation of current COVID specifications and protocols. The Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch (EMSIPSB) is currently scheduling presentations based on community requests. Call (808) 733-9202 or email [email protected] to find out when and where the next event will be.

Home assistive devices for the elderly with fall protection

The City Mill stores on Nimitz and Pearl City will host fall prevention and home safety specialists from the Department of Health. The public will be informed of the exact dates for the Fall Protection seminars. All current COVID safety protocols will be used at these events. Seniors and families are encouraged to ask questions about the latest assistive safety devices for seniors that can help make the home safer and almost “fall-proof”. See stores for a schedule of DOH events.

TIMES pharmacies will offer senior drug reviews

TIMES pharmacists will offer kupun drug reviews by appointment during the campaign. Seniors are strongly encouraged to speak with TIMES pharmacists to find out if multiple medications are causing a possible problem and if they may contribute to dizziness or possible falls.

Arthritis / Fall Prevention Tai Chi classes are offered at all YMCAs in Oahu.

Ongoing Tai Chi classes for Arthritis/Fall Prevention (TCAFP) are offered at all YMCAs in Oahu. All classes are taught by TCAFP certified instructors and their certified skills are one of the reasons this exercise is one of the world’s leading fall prevention programs. Contact YMCA for more information.

Tai Chi Instructor Workshop for Arthritis/Fall Prevention

The Arthritis/Fall Prevention (TCAFP) Taijiquan Instructor Workshop is held in August to re-certify TCAFP instructors. The certification is supported by the International Tai Chi Institute for Health. For information about community activities, call (808) 733-9202 or visit the Department of Health website at https://health.hawaii.gov/injuryprevention/home/preventing-falls/tai-chi/.

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PDF: Statewide Fall Prevention Campaign Begins to Reduce Coupon Fall Injuries

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