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Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths, unintentional injuries, and hospital admissions for trauma. Falls can take a serious toll on older adults’ quality of life and independence. To recognize this critical issue, the first day of Fall each year is designated as Fall Prevention Awareness Day.

At the heart of this initiative is the message that falls are preventable. During Fall Prevention Awareness Day, fall prevention coalitions, health care providers, and senior service agencies will hold presentations, health fairs, screenings, and workshops to raise awareness among older adults and their families and caregivers, elder care professionals, and the general public about the seriousness of falls and ways to reduce fall risk.

Below are some ideas and resources to help you plan for Fall Prevention Awareness Day.

  • Create a Fall Prevention display/bulletin board showing safety items
  • Organize fall prevention workshops
  • Host a Fall Prevention Discussion Group
  • Engage new partners such as the local fire department, libraries, and churches
  • Offer a Tai Chi demonstration
  • Offer vision exams, blood pressure checks, foot exams, gait and balance assessments, bone density screenings, and medication reviews
    • Invite students from nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy programs to assist with screenings and assessments
  • Organize a walk (possibly with a neighborhood walking group) or hold a community walkability audit to promote safe pedestrian routes in your area
    • Make/carry signs
    • Write a slogan or chant to say while walking
    • Write down areas where sidewalks are cracked or other hazards exist
    • Create a final report to share with participants, the community, and use to help address identified hazards
    • Click here for walkability resources (scroll down to Walkability section)
  • Arrange a “Sloppy Slipper Swap” – in return for old, unsafe footwear, give out night lights or non-skid strips for bathtubs and showers
  • Involve your friends and partners in Fall Prevention Awareness Week by posting on Facebook and Twitter
  • Obtain a Proclamation for Fall Prevention Awareness Week from your City Council and/or County Board of Supervisors (Resources from NCOA)

Are you wondering how you’ll know if your FPAW event has been successful?