Stand Up for Fall Prevention
Stand Up for Fall Prevention Sponsors
Click on the links below to learn more about the SUN-B program "Stand Up for Fall Prevention":
|Fall Prevention Statistics|
Senior Umbrella Network of Brooklyn (SUN-B is dedicated to the health and wellness of seniors living in Brooklyn. Our organization is focused on seniors and the quality of life for seniors in our community.
SUN-B advocates for seniors on health and wellness issues in the Brooklyn community and is a 501 (c)3 Not For Profit organization. Established in 2003, this diverse organization of professionals is focused on improving the quality of services and care delivered to senior citizens in all Brooklyn communities. SUN-B has an agenda dedicated to fighting ageism, fighting elder abuse and promoting access to services and exploring and supporting issues related to caregivers.
Studies show that more than 300 older adults in New York City die from falls and that falling account for more than 24,000 visits to the emergency room with over 18,000 hospitalizations annually. Unintentional falls are particularly prevalent among older people and constitute a public health concern.
According to the Centers for Disease Control one in three adults aged 65 and older falls each year. Of those who fall, 20% to 30% suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently, and increase their risk of early death. Older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than they are for injuries from other causes.
Falls remain the leading cause of injury death for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. CDC’s Injury Center monitors falls, fall-related injuries, and associated costs, reporting:
- In 2009, more than 20,400 older Americans died from injuries related to unintentional falls.
- In 2010, over 2.3 million older Americans were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries from falls and more than 662,000 were hospitalized. CDC reports the death rate from falls among older adults has increased by 42% from 2000 to 2006.
- The total cost of fall injuries for older Americans was estimated to be $30 billion (in 2010 dollars). By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $54.9 billion.
In addition to pain and suffering, and the high cost of rehabilitation, falls with or without injury also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, often self-limit their activities and social engagements. Resulting limitations can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.
Stand Up For Fall Prevention program - purpose and activities:
Stand Up For Fall Prevention is a multifaceted fall-prevention program for the community-residing elderly. About 30% of older people who fall lose their self-confidence and start to go out less often. Inactivity leads to social isolation and loss of muscle strength and balance, increasing the risk of falling. Stand Up For Fall Prevention aims to break that cycle, engaging people in a range of relevant fall preventive strategies. The program includes an emphasis on weight shifting, postural alignment, along with strength and balance movements. The program seeks to improve balance, strength, and physical performance for older adults.
The immediate goals of the program are:
- To educate seniors about the importance of environmental factors that contributes to falls as well as strength and balance to prevent falling and admission to the hospital.
- To recruit and train three trainers to carry out the program according to prescribed guidelines.
Brooklyn is home to the highest percentage of seniors over 65 in the U.S. except for Miami Beach. According to the 2010 census, the over 65 population is 281,517 and is expected to rise to 323,000 by 2020. Nearly half reside in Borough Park, Bensonhurst-Bay Ridge and Coney Island-Sheepshead Bay and another 20% live in Bedford Stuyvesant-Crown Heights and Flatbush-East Flatbush. More than one third are widowed, and of these, 80% are women. Fifty three percent of seniors in Brooklyn have annual incomes below $20,000, compared to 43% in the rest of New York City, and 35% in New York State.
Falling is a growing public health issue. One in three older Americans falls each year. In 2010, over 2.3 million older Americans were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries from falls and more than 650,000 were hospitalized. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports the death rate from falls among older adults increased by 42% from 2000 to 2006. Among older adults in New York City, falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations (more hospitalizations than pneumonia, influenza, asthma and bronchitis combined). The total cost of NYC emergency department visits for falls among older adults is approximately $53 million annually, or $2,100 per fall-related visit.
In addition to pain and suffering, and the high cost of rehabilitation, falls with or without injury also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, often self-limit activities and social engagements. Resulting limitations can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) promotes evidence-based, cost-effective fall prevention programs that identify common risk factors. These include visual impairment, use of four or more medications or any psychoactive medications, dizziness, muscle weakness (especially in legs), problems with balance or walking, postural hypotension, unsafe footwear or foot problems, and environmental hazards. Evidence shows that eliminating one or more risk factors can reduce falls by 30%.
SUN-B is committed to working with the Seniors of Brooklyn, which is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the USA. Our challenge is to share something important, but to do so in ways that transcend social and cultural differences in Brooklyn's Senior populations.
1. Enhancements in Focus: We have made our outreach more relevant by including challenges and dangers associated with living in multi-family apartment buildings. The majority of existing Fall Prevention Programs use the language and imagery of single-family homes. SUN-B's program builds upon the fact that more than half of Brooklyn's Seniors live in multi-family apartment buildings. Our Fall-Prevention materials and website include pointers for preventing falls in elevators, near the mailboxes, near the incinerator, and in the lobby, as well as in the more familiar rooms of any home: The kitchen, the bathroom, etc.
2. Enhancements in Content: SUN-B now reminds Seniors that "Fall Prevention" can mean two different things: It can mean preventing loss of balance and/or equilibrium. But it can also mean preventing objects from falling on people. For this reason, our curriculum goes beyond strength & balance training, and focuses as well on creating safer homes where objects are less likely to topple-down and harm elderly residents.
3. Enhancements in Messaging: SUN-B has learned that Brooklyn's Seniors and professionals come to us with different needs and priorities, even when it comes to Fall Prevention. For that reason, we have developed specialized fall-prevention programs: One for visually-impaired Seniors and the professionals who work with them; and one for cognitively-impaired Seniors, and the audiences which work with them.
4. Enhancements in Pedagogy: SUN-B now empowers Seniors by helping them to develop their own Fall-Prevention kits, which allow them to make modest but helpful changes (For example, glo-tape on the underside of the toilet seat) which allow Seniors to take more control over their own home-safety.