St Johns County senior falls prevention program


400-BOATER-RESCUED-PVBFalls are the leading cause of injury for older adults, according to reports received by Historic City News from St Johns County Fire Rescue; who responded to over 850 calls involving injuries from falls last year, 90% of which involved patients over the age of 60.

Falls can threaten our senior’s safety, independence, or result in death. Because a growing number of older adults fear falling, they limit their activities and social engagements; resulting in further physical decline, depression, social isolation and feelings of helplessness.

“The goal of the Senior Falls Prevention Program is to reduce the number of these incidents by providing falls education including comprehensive home safety assessments and prevention plans for seniors who are at risk for falls,” Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Jeremey Robshaw told Historic City News.

The program is a collaborative effort between community partners with a mission to provide direction and focus for senior falls prevention throughout St Johns County. Start-up funding for the program has been awarded by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs Community for a Lifetime initiative.

Some goals of the Senior Falls Prevention Program include:

• Community outreach to disseminate falls prevention information
• Home safety assessments
• Medication evaluation
• Installation of risk reduction devices
• Referral to a local evidence-based fall prevention program
• Home repairs to provide a safer environment (given available funds)
• Follow-up to stress the importance of compliance with the Falls Prevention Program

Agencies involved in the Falls Prevention program include: St Johns County Fire Rescue, St Johns County Sheriff’s Office, St Johns County Health and Human Services, Florida Department of Health in St Johns County, Area Agency on Aging, Elder Source, St Johns County Council on Aging, Flagler Hospital, Brooks Rehabilitation and St Johns Housing Partnership.

To arrange for a home safety assessment under the new Falls Prevention Program, please contact the Council on Aging Care Connection at (904) 209-3648.

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