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Health & Human Services News

Older Americans Month 2014

60-75% of falls can be prevented.The "Right Steps" Help Older Americans Stay Healthy & Strong

Older Americans face many challenges, but few are more life changing than an injury from a fall. Every year in the United States, one out of every three adults over age 65 has a fall. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths for this age group and are responsible for more open wounds, fractures and brain injuries than any other cause of injury (Center for Disease Control).

As we age, factors such as loss of bone density and balance, changes in vision, and medication side effects can make us more vulnerable to an injury from a fall, yet falls don’t have to be a normal part of aging.

Approximately 60 - 75% of falls can be prevented by taking the "right steps":

  • Exercise for better balance
  • Get regular vision, hearing, and medication check ups
  • Clear tripping hazards such as throw rugs, cords, and clutter from the floor
  • Make stairways safe with better lighting, handrails, and by keeping them clear
  • Find out how to make bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms safe
  • Ask your doctor for a fall risk assessment to reduce chance of falls and injuries.

During May, which is Older Americans Month, Buncombe County Health and Human Services is joining with WNC Fall Prevention Coalition to  help older Americans become more aware of community resources that can help them take control of their safety and live longer, healthier lives.

Here are several fall prevention resources available in our community:

  • WNC Fall Prevention Coalition: For classes on exercises to improve strength and balance, safety information and more programs throughout WNC counties, visit
  • Care Partners Mindful Living Sessions: Free series of educational talks that focus on fall prevention and exercising for balance. Held each Thursday at CarePartners through June 12. Call 230-0522 for class details or visit
  • The Council on Aging: Offers a variety of services that enable older people to be safe, comfortable and independent at home and to get out into the community. If you would like more information or have questions, call 277-8288.
  • Call 211: Help is available to many seniors who need assistance with home safety installations and repairs that reduce the risk of falls. Call 211 or visit
  • BC Health and Human Services: if you have concerns about safety or neglect, call 250-5800.
  • Download a safety check list and more at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by clicking here.
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