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Public Statements

Safety of Seniors Act of 2007

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Location: Washington, DC


SAFETY OF SENIORS ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - April 08, 2008)

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, many of us have elder parents, relatives, neighbors or colleagues who have experienced an unnecessary fall. Recently, Nancy Reagan and Senator Robert Byrd have both suffered from falls that have caused them to be hospitalized.

Falls among elderly Americans in fact are so commonplace that one in three Americans over the age of 65 each year experiences a debilitating fall. As a result, it is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for older Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, estimates that fall-related medical expenses cost Americans more than $20 billion annually. Projections are that those expenses will climb to more than $40 billion over the next 15 years, posing additional burdens on already strapped Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Effective demonstration tests and comprehensive public information and education campaigns can help reduce and mitigate these avoidable and frequently disabling injuries.

To that end, I introduced H.R. 3701, the ``Keeping Seniors Safe from Falls Act of 2007'' with my good friend Representative Ralph Hall, which is the House companion to S. 845, the bill we are debating today. If enacted, this legislation would launch a comprehensive preventive care program and educational campaign to reduce the number and severity of falls to the elderly.

In closing I want to acknowledge all the hard work that went into this bill, including the work of my colleagues both here in the House and the Senate, as well as the Falls Free Coalition working group, which has been advocating for this legislation for sometime.

Madam Speaker, falls among the elderly are clearly an issue that affect and potentially imperil us all. This legislation offers a national approach to reducing these tragic events I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this important bill.

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