September 22, 2018: Falls Prevention Awareness Day

WHEREAS, it is estimated that over 16.7 percent of Michigan citizens, more than 1.6 million people, are 65 years of age or older; and,

WHEREAS, one out of four people age 65 and older falls each year, and one out of five falls causes a serious injury; and,

WHEREAS, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI); and,

WHEREAS, nationally more than 95 percent of hip fractures among adults ages 65 and older are caused by falls, that cause severe health problems and lead to reduced quality of life and premature death; and,

WHEREAS, the total medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion in the US in 2015; and,

WHEREAS, direct costs do not account for the long-term effects of these injuries such as disability, dependence on others, lost time from work and household duties, and reduced quality of life; and,

WHEREAS, in 2015, each week on average, more than 15 adults age 65 and over died due to a fall, and another 319 were hospitalized in Michigan from a fall-related injury; and,

WHEREAS, the crude rate for unintentional fall deaths for Michigan residents age 65 and older was 51.2 per 100,000 population in 2015; and,

WHEREAS, falling, and the fear of falling, can lead to depression, isolation, diminished mobility, and loss of functional independence; and,

WHEREAS, the cause of falls can be attributed to many contributing factors including lack of strength in the lower extremities, problems with balance, the use of multiple medications, reduced vision, chronic health problems, and unsafe environments; and,

WHEREAS, injuries from falls are a largely preventable community health problem; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will continue to collect data to monitor incidents of fall injuries and deaths and to raise awareness of preventing falls that result in an injury; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and partners including the Aging and Adults Services Agency and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan will encourage residents to utilize community resources such as Area Agencies on Aging, and programs like EnhanceFitness, Matter of Balance and other exercise programs designed to improve activity, energy and independence;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 22, 2018 as Falls Prevention Awareness Day in Michigan.