TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- The state of Kansas is spreading awareness about the risks of senior citizens taking a fall.
Sunday, September 22 is statewide Falls Prevention Awareness Day. The theme: "Preventing Falls - One Step At A Time," brings together professionals, seniors, family members and care givers to prevent falls among older adults.
According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, every 15 seconds a senior in the United States falls and is seen in the emergency room. Senior falls can rack up substantial medical bills, resulting in serious injuries and evens sometimes death.
Secretary and State Health Officer Rober Moser, M.D., said in 2010 more than 5,700 older Kansas adults (65 years and older) were discharged from hospitals after a fall and 270 older Kansas adults died from a fall. That totaled more than $130 million in medical expenses.
KDHE said there are steps and preventative measures to take such as:
Removing tripping hazards from a senior's home
Maintaining a regular exercise program
Ensuring adequate lighting
Having eyes checked regularly
KDHE says exercise programs at senior centers can greatly help an older adult improve their balance and gain strength.
The department is enacting the Stepping On program, which will offer stepping courses to seniors around the state.
The closest stepping course to Topeka will be held in Overland Park:
Tuesdays Sept. 17 - Oct. 22, 10 a.m. - noon
Tuesdays Oct. 8 - Nov. 19 from 1 - 3 p.m.
Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church, 9300 Nall Ave, Overland Park
Contact: Stacey or Emily at 913-732-0616 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.