As part of the 9th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day on September 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases a report stating that falls are the number one cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans.

According to the report, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, in 2014 alone, older Americans experienced 29 million falls causing seven million injuries and costing an estimated $31 billion in annual Medicare costs.

“Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence,” says CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, in a media release from CDC.  “Healthcare providers can make fall prevention a routine part of care in their practice, and older adults can take steps to protect themselves.”

To address these statistics and to help reduce falls among the older population, CDC has created the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative to help healthcare providers make fall prevention routine.

“Falls threaten older Americans’ independence and safety and generate enormous economic and personal costs that affect everyone,” states Grant Baldwin, PhD, MPH, director of CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, in the release. “Together, everyone can reduce the risk of falling and prevent fall injuries.”

Falls Prevention Awareness Day is sponsored by the National Council on Aging.

[Source(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PR Newswire]