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Safe Steps for Seniors to Stop Stumbles

Senior Safety

Stony Brook, NY, April 29, 2016 — May is National Trauma Awareness Month, and this year the American Trauma Society is raising awareness about senior safety and falls with “Safe Steps for Seniors.”  The Stony Brook Trauma Center is taking steps to shed light on the matter to help prevent serious injuries from occurring.

According to the American Trauma Society, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans, with one-third of Americans aged 65+ falling each year.  Falls result in more than 2.5 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 734,000 hospitalizations and more than 21,700 deaths.

Dr Vosswinkel
Dr. James Vosswinkel, Chief of Trauma 

James Vosswinkel, MD, Chief of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Stony Brook University Hospital, stresses the importance of seeking treatment after a fall.  “Older adults who suffer a serious fall have much better chances of survival and overall better health outcomes if they are treated at a Trauma Center where specialized surgeons are available.”    

Falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments and evidence-based falls prevention programs, the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced.

Kristi L. Ladowski, MPH, Injury Prevention & Outreach Coordinator, Stony Brook Trauma Center, provides the following safety tips to prevent trips, slips and stumbles:

  1. Talk with your physician about your risk of a fall and how you can manage certain health conditions that can lead to a fall
  2. Participate in exercise programs that promote balance and strength, like Suffolk County’s FREE Stepping On or Tai Chi programs
  3. Have your medications reviewed by your doctor and pharmacist to discuss which medications may contribute to dizziness, imbalance and fatigue
  4. Have your vision screened at least once a year
  5. Fall-proof your home using a checklist
  6. Talk with your family about how they can support you as you maintain an independent lifestyle

For more information, visit the Stony Brook Trauma Center website.

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About Stony Brook University Hospital:

Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) is Long Island’s premier academic medical center. With 603 beds, SBUH serves as the region’s only tertiary care center and Regional Trauma Center, and is home to the Stony Brook University Heart Institute, Stony Brook University Cancer Center, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, Stony Brook University Neurosciences Institute, and Stony Brook University Digestive Disorders Institute. SBUH also encompasses Suffolk County’s only Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center, state-designated AIDS Center, state-designated Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, state-designated Burn Center, the Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence, and Kidney Transplant Center. It is home of the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center. To learn more, visit www.stonybrookmedicine.edu.

Reporter Contact:  631-444-7880