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Call before they fall to prevent injury

Provided by Joan Wills, Tri-County Health Department

Article by Jake Rankin, MBA, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

As my parents and grandparents age, I often think about the comparison between the struggles they face as they age and the struggles I faced growing up. For example, when I was a child, they were always telling me to be careful. I often heard “don’t climb that tree too high or you will fall” or “stop jumping on the bed before you fall”. They were worried that I would hurt myself and break a bone.

I am sure that most of us remember similar conversations growing up. Now that I am older, I find myself having those same conversations, only this time it’s me worried about my parents’ safety. I finally understand what I put them through, but I have the same loving concern for their safety that they had for me.

The biggest concern for most older adults is staying independent and living at home as long as possible. The biggest threat to that independence is a simple slip and fall. Here are some sobering facts:

Falls are the number one cause of injury-related deaths for those 65 and older.

Every 18 seconds an older adult is in an emergency room being treated for a fall.

For those over 65, one in every three people fall each year.

Of those who are injured from a fall in a home, only 28 percent return to their home after hospitalization; half require ongoing care in a skilled nursing facility.

More than 9,000 Coloradans age 65 or older are hospitalized each year for fall-related injuries.

However, there is good news! There is something you can do to help prevent your loved ones from falling. Research has shown that there are four main areas to address when preventing falls. Those are:

1) vision screening;

2) home safety assessments and modifications;

3) medication reviews and modifications; and

4) services to improve physical mobility, agility, and balance. Focusing on one of these areas however, is not enough.

A combination of all four of the areas is the best approach.

The problem is that these services are typically offered by different providers and they are fragmented. The question then becomes: Is there one place where I can go to get all the resources, answers, and help with the coordination of all of these services?

The answer is yes! The Fall Prevention Network (FPN) is a free referral service for residents of the Denver Metro Area to access fall prevention services. The FPN is comprised of a network of service providers dedicated and committed to reducing falls by providing fall prevention services and education.

Made possible by The Colorado Trust (a grant making foundation dedicated to achieving access to health for all Coloradans), the FPN was created by over 60 organizations in the Denver Metro Area.

The time to act is now. Every day that goes by could increase the possibility of our loved ones getting hurt. Call the FPN at 303-922-5555 or visit



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