September 23, 2014: Falls Prevention Awareness Day

WHEREAS, it is estimated that more than 15 percent of Michigan citizens, or more than 1.4 million people, are 65 years of age or older; and,

WHEREAS, among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma; and,

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

WHEREAS, in 2010, the total direct medical costs of fall injuries for people 65 and older nationally, adjusted for inflation, was $30 billion; 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 2012, more than 39 people age 65 and over were hospitalized, and two people of the same age group died every day in Michigan from a fall-related injury; and,

WHEREAS, the rate of unintentional fall deaths for Michigan residents age 65 and older increased by 118 percent between 1999 and 2012; and,

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

WHEREAS, injuries from falls are a largely preventable community health problem and the cause of falls is composed of multiple 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, the Michigan Department of Community Health is encouraging all residents to join with them in their efforts to raise awareness of preventing falls, and to utilize community resources such as EnhanceFitness, Matter of Balance and other group exercise programs designed to improve activity, energy and independence,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan do hereby proclaim September 23, 2014, as Falls Prevention Awareness Day in Michigan.