Press Releases

Falls Prevention Awareness Week: Department for the Aging and its Partners Help Older Adults Prevent Falls and Stay Healthy

The week-long series includes free virtual and in-person events to help older New Yorkers prevent falls.

NEW YORK, NY – With the start of the fall season, the Department for the Aging (DFTA) is partnering with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and NYC Falls Prevention Coalition partners to launch a series of falls prevention events for older adults. These events are free and offered in a mix of virtual and in-person sessions to raise awareness and share tips on preventing falls. Corresponding with the first week of fall, this year’s Falls Prevention Awareness Week takes place from September 20 through September 24.

Fall is the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. It results in injuries, such as hip fractures and broken bones. According to the National Council on Aging, one in four adults aged 65 or older experiences a fall. In fact, more than 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments annually because of a fall, including over 800,000 hospitalizations.

“Most falls occur at home, but the good news is that falls are preventable,” said DFTA Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “We have a full week’s lineup of education and evidence-based classes that offer useful home safety tips and interactive activities to help you improve strength and balances. I encourage all older New Yorkers to join our events and learn how to prevent falls and avoid injuries.”

“Falls are the leading cause of injury for older New Yorkers, but they’re not an inevitable part of aging,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Keep physically active, check your home for falls risks, and speak with your health care provider about reviewing your medications. These steps not only prevent falls, they can improve quality of life and promote independent living.”

Falls prevention is an important part of healthy ageing. Through evidence-based programs, lifestyle adjustments, and falls prevention education, older adults can avoid falls by staying active and independent.

This year’s Falls Prevention Awareness Week consists of both virtual and in-person events. Some of the events happening during the week include the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Falls Prevention Symposium; workshops from the NYC Poison Control Center on Medicine Safety and Falls Prevention for Older Adults in Spanish and VISIONS Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Falls Prevention; webinars including DOHMH’s Creating Healthy Homes for Older Adults and Brooklyn Public Library’s Healthy Aging and Falls Prevention for Older Adults, and an in-person Senior Safety Table organized by the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island and Staten Island University Hospital.

In addition to these efforts, medication review sessions will be offered in a mix of both in-person and online virtual sessions. During these review sessions, older adults can bring their prescription medications, vitamins, over-the-counter medications, topical products and eye drops to their local older adult center, while the pharmacist and pharmacy students speak to older adults via Zoom and review their medications to identify potential side effects and drug interactions that can lead to somnolence, blurred vision, and dizziness that contribute to falls.

The New York City Falls Prevention Coalition, an Age-friendly NYC initiative, is composed of representatives from government, nonprofit, and health care organizations. The coalition aims to promote and implement proven and promising strategies to reduce the incidence and burden of falls among older adults.

For more information and to view the event line-up, visit the online Falls Prevention Week 2021 schedule.


About the Department for the Aging
The New York City Department for the Aging works to eliminate ageism and ensure the dignity and quality of life of New York City's diverse 1.7 million older adults. DFTA also works to support caregivers through service, advocacy, and education. DFTA is the largest area agency on aging in the United States.