Press Releases

With the start of the fall season, the Dept. for the Aging and its Partners Hold “Falls Prevention Awareness Week” to Help Prevent Falls Among Older New Yorkers

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

NEW YORK, NY – The Department for the Aging (DFTA), the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and NYC Falls Prevention Coalition partners join together once again to raise awareness about Falls Prevention with a week-long series of events. Corresponding with the official first day of fall, Falls Prevention Awareness Week will be held this week, September 21 through September 25. The NYC Falls Prevention Coalition will be sharing a cohort of free, virtual events hosted by Coalition members and community partners, tips to prevent falls, and facts to raise awareness of how to prevent falls before they happen.

Most falls happen in the home. With older New Yorkers spending more time than ever before inside their home to stay safe from COVID-19, this Falls Prevention Awareness Week is especially important.

“Getting older does not need to include experiencing a fall. While falls are all too common among older adults, they can be prevented by building strength and balance with the help of evidence-based programs,” said DFTA Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “This Falls Prevention Awareness Week, I invite all older New Yorkers to join in the many free and engaging virtual events that are being offered to help prevent falls.”

"Falls can affect the quality of life of older New Yorkers and can make it difficult to live independently,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. “Many falls are preventable, and we should not consider them a normal part of aging. As people are staying home more during the COVID-19 response, it is more important than ever for older New Yorkers to remain physically active and reduce fall hazards in the home. Our agency’s home safety checklist is a great way to help keep New Yorkers' homes free from falls risks."

Nearly one in three older New Yorkers experience falls, threatening their health, safety, and independence. Nationally, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room, and every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. However, the good news is that evidence-based programs, lifestyle adjustments, and falls prevention education can help older adults avoid falls by staying active and independent.

Preventing falls is essential to healthy aging and aging-in-place. Fall Prevention Week’s free, virtual classes and workshops have been designed to bring the benefits of falls prevention to the homes of older New Yorkers. Some of the free events happening during Falls Prevention Awareness Week include Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Falls Prevention Symposium, the National Council on Aging’s Facebook Live event in English and Spanish, and webinars including DOHMH’s Preventing Falls at Home, Brooklyn Public Library’s Healthy Aging for Older Adults, and Senior Planet and the National Council on Aging’s You Have the Power to Prevent Falls.

In addition to these efforts, virtual medication review sessions will be offered by St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Heath Sciences, Touro College of Pharmacy, and Long Island University’s Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health. During these review sessions, older adults bring their prescription medications, vitamins, over-the-counter medications, topical products and eye drops to be reviewed by a pharmacist and pharmacy students 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 2020 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.