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Senate Resolution 284 -- Designating September 23,2011, as "National Falls Prevention Awareness Day" to Raise Awareness and Encourage the Prevention of Falls Among Older Adults

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KOHL (for himself, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Blumenthal, Ms. Collins, and Mr. Sanders) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

S. Res. 284

Whereas older adults, 65 years of age and older, are the fastest-growing segment of the population in the United States, and the number of older adults in the United States will increase from 35,000,000 in 2000 to 72,100,000 in 2030;

Whereas 1 out of 3 older adults in the United States falls each year;

Whereas falls are the leading cause of injury, death, and hospital admissions for traumatic injuries among older adults;

Whereas, in 2009, approximately 2,200,000 older adults were treated in hospital emergency departments for fall-related injuries, and more than 582,000 were subsequently hospitalized;

Whereas, in 2007, more than 18,400 older adults died from injuries related to unintentional falls;

Whereas the total cost of fall-related injuries for older adults is $80,900,000,000, including more than $19,000,000,000 in direct medical costs;

Whereas the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that if the rate of increase in falls is not slowed, the annual cost under the Medicare program will reach $32,400,000,000 by 2020; and

Whereas evidence-based programs show promise in reducing falls and facilitating cost-effective interventions, such as comprehensive clinical assessments, exercise programs to improve balance and health, management of medications, correction of vision, and reduction of home hazards: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) designates September 23, 2011, as ``National Falls Prevention Awareness Day'';

(2) commends the Falls Free Coalition and the falls prevention coalitions in 43 States and the District of Columbia for their efforts to work together to increase education and awareness about the prevention of falls among older adults;

(3) encourages businesses, individuals, Federal, State, and local governments, the public health community, and health care providers to work together to promote the awareness of falls in an effort to reduce the incidence of falls among older adults in the United States;

(4) urges the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue developing and evaluating strategies to prevent falls among older adults that will translate into effective fall prevention interventions, including community-based programs;

(5) encourages State health departments, which provide significant leadership in reducing injuries and injury-related health care costs by collaborating with colleagues and a variety of organizations and individuals, to reduce falls among older adults; and

(6) recognizes proven, cost-effective falls prevention programs and policies and encourages experts in the field to share their best practices so that their success can be replicated by others.

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