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NC Department of Health and Human Services

First Day of Fall: Think Fall Prevention

Release Date: September 22, 2008
Contact: Lori Walston, 919-733-9190

RALEIGH – The first day of fall brings thoughts of football, cooler temperatures, and changing leaves. But the NC Falls Prevention Coalition is asking the public to consider an important safety issue on the first day of fall: preventing older adults from falling. 

To reduce falls and fall-related deaths and injuries in North Carolina, various public and private organizations came together earlier this year to establish the NC Falls Prevention Coalition. The NC Division of Aging and Adult Services, the NC Division of Public Health, the UNC Institute on Aging and the Carolina Geriatric Education Center are coordinating the coalition to create and maintain a statewide structure to better coordinate falls prevention awareness, education, and programs in North Carolina.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among adults age 65 and older. One in three adults age 65 and older falls each year.  It is estimated that approximately 17 percent of older North Carolinians experienced a fall in the past three months, with one-third of those falls resulting in an injury. 

The good news is that most falls are preventable. Recommendations for preventing falls among older adults include encouraging them to exercise regularly, have their medications reviewed, get their vision checked, and reduce hazards in their homes that can lead to falls. 

“Older adults are the fastest growing segment of the population, both nationally and in North Carolina, and it is more important than ever to address this growing public health issue,” said State Health Director Leah Devlin. “Through the NC Falls Prevention Coalition, partners across North Carolina will work together to educate older adults on protecting themselves from devastating falls.”

"Falls prevention is a vital part of our joint initiative with Public Health, the North Carolina Roadmap for Healthy Aging, said Dennis Streets, NC Division of Aging and Adult Services Director. “We must continue to work together to address this important area."

The Coalition will complement many of the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s recommendations for preventing falls among older adults. The Coalition will also provide education about preventing falls to older adults, caregivers, health care professionals, social service professionals, policymakers, and the community.

For more information on fall prevention or the NC Falls Prevention Coalition, contact Sharon Rhyne, 919-707-5205 or by E-mail at  For data sources, please visit







Updated: October 14, 2008