September 20 - 24, 2021: Falls Prevention Awareness Week

WHEREAS, it is estimated that 17.5% of Michigan citizens are 65 years of age or older; and,


WHEREAS, it is estimated that one fourth of people 65 and older will fall each year; and,


WHEREAS, one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury; and,


WHEREAS, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults in the United States; and,


WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 29.4% of Michiganders aged 65 and over reported falling in the last 12 months; and,


WHEREAS, falls account for 67 of 100,000 deaths in Michigan according to the CDC; and,


WHEREAS, falls can lead to depression, loss of mobility, and loss of functional independence; and,


WHEREAS, the total cost of falls in Michigan is $1,506,000,000, annually; the cost to Medicare is $1,074,000,000, annually, and the cost to Medicaid is $236,000,000, annually, and private or out of pocket cost is $196,000,000, annually; and,


WHEREAS, the financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach an annual cost of $101 billion nationally by 2030; and,


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


WHEREAS, evidence-based programs reduce falls by utilizing cost-effective strategies, such as exercise programs to improve balance and strength, medication management, vision improvement, reduction of home hazards, and fall prevention education; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Aging and Adult Services Agency and area agencies on aging are working to increase awareness of this issue, promote multidisciplinary strategies to prevent falls, and encourage older adults to take steps to protect those who are at increased risk of falling;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, do hereby proclaim September 20-24, 2021, as Falls Prevention Awareness Week in Michigan and urge our citizens to commend its observance.