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Have you or a loved one slipped or fallen recently? You are not alone, one in four older adults (65+) fall each year and as we get older, we are more likely to fall. In 2016, over 20,000 older adults were treated and discharged from the Emergency Department and an additional 7,000 were admitted for inpatient care in San Diego alone.
The good news is that many falls are preventable, and you CAN reduce your risk of falling!
About the San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force
The County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Aging & Independence Services sponsors the San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force, a community-based coalition composed of healthcare professionals, senior service providers, and community advocates. It's mission is to reduce falls and their devastating consequences in San Diego County.
Meetings occur on ZOOM on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm (*dark in June, September, and December).
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87633393359
Meeting ID: 876 3339 3359
Call-In Option: 1 (253) 215-8782
To learn more about Task Force meetings, email the Health Promotion Team or call 858-495-5500.
Task Force Materials
The Task Force has developed several materials including a pamphlet with fall facts, questions to ask your healthcare provider, steps on how to get up from a fall, and home safety checklist. To request hard copies of these materials, email the Health Promotion Team or call 858-495-5500 with your preferred quantities, language(s), and full mailing address.
Six Easy Steps to Prevent Falls
Fall Prevention Activities Calendar
Evidence-Based Fall Prevention Programs
San Diego County is home to several evidence-based programs that are proven to help older adults reduce their risk of falling.
Tai Chi Moving for Better Balance
Tai Chi Moving for Better Balance is a modified version of the Yang style of Tai Chi that commonly is done using either 108, or, in the "short form," 24 different positions. Tai Chi Moving for Better Balance further simplifies the traditional style and has only 8 essential positions, moving in a slow, flowing, and controlled fasion. This program was developed by Dr. Fuzhong Li at Oregon Research Institute and was designed especially for older adults to reduce their risk of falls. Evidence suggests that participating int his program can reduce falls and fear of falling; and increase functional balance and physical performance. To learn more, email the Health Promotion Team or call 858-495-5500. For a current list of classes, visit www.HealthierLivingSD.org.
Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention
Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention utilizes the Sun style of Tai Chi. Movements are taught to both left and right sides and with turns to move forward and backward to improve mobility and offer a variety of combinations. This program has been shown to improve movement, balance, strength, and flexibility; offer relaxation; and decrease pain and falls. This program is appropriate for people with or without arthritis, rheumatic disease, or related musculoskeletal conditions, joint involvement and back pain, and those at a higher risk of falling. To learn more, email the Health Promotion Team or call 858-495-5500. For a current list of classes, visit www.HealthierLivingSD.org.
A Matter of Balance
A Matter of Balance is specifically designed to reduce the fear of falling and improve activity levels among community-dwelling older adults The program includes eight 2-hour classes presented to small groups of 8-12 participants led by trained coaches. The program enables participants to reduce the fear of falling by learning to view falls as controllable, setting goals for increasing activity levels, making small changes to reduce fall risks at home, and exercise to increase strength and balance. The curriculum includes group discussions, mutual problem-solving, role-play activities, exercise training, and assertiveness training. Participants learn about the imporance of exercise in preventing falls and practice exercises to improve strength, coordiantion, and balance. To learn more, call 858-626-6160.
Bingocize is a health education program that incorporates exercise and fall prevention messages with the familiar game of bingo. Health outcomes include improved lower and upper body strength, gait, and range of motion; increased social engagement; and improved knowledge of fall risk reduction. To learn more, call 858-626-6160.
San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force
The San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force can host a resource table with educational materials, handouts, and other items at community events. If you would like to request this service, email the Health Promotion Team or call 858-495-5500 and provide a brief description of the audience, time/day request, and number of attendees.
Select members of the Task Force are trained to provide free fall prevention presentations and fall risk screenings for older adults and community groups. Presentations can be delivered in-person or virtually. If you would like to request these services email the Health Promotion Team or call 858-495-5500 and provide a brief description of the audience, time/day request, and number of attendees.
Fall Prevention Awareness Week
In observance of Fall Prevention Awareness Week, Aging &
Independence Services, the San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force, and
its partners host various activities to raise awareness about older
adult falls and how to prevent them. In 2020 and 2021, this included
virtual workshops that covered a range of topics and were viewed by
older adults, caregivers, service providers, and healthcare
Vial of Life
The Vial of Life is a magnetized plastic sleeve that can be attached to your refrigerator door. Inside the sleeve is a form you can complete with important information for first responders to access in the event of a fall or medical emergency. Items you can list include health conditions or disabilities, current medications and immunizations, allergies, physician and emergency contacts, location of advanced healthcare directive (if applicable), and insurance details. Also included in the sleeve is a sticker that can be placed on your front door or window to notify first responders to look for the Vial of Life on your refrigerator door. To request a Vial of Life, email the Health Promotion Team or call 858-495-5500 with your preferred quantities and full mailing address.
State and National Resources
Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries Toolkit
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention created the STEADI initiative for healthcare providers who treat older adults who are at risk of falling, or who may have fallen in the past. There are also educational brochures about fall prevention specifically designed for your patients and their caregivers.
National Falls Prevention Resource Center
The National Council on Aging houses the National Falls Prevention Resource Center which increases public awareness about the risk of falls and supports the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based falls prevention programs and strategies across the nation. The online Resource Center has fall prevention content and messaging tailored to specific audiences, including professionals, caregivers, and older adults. Additionally, it has developed the Falls Free CheckUp tool so you can check to see if you’re at risk for falling.