Falls Prevention Awareness Day is on September 22 at the start of the fall season and it’s a very serious matter that we all need to be paying attention to. It’s the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits and the day is used to address this public health issue. Falls can be more dangerous than they might seem. They can cause bruising, hip fractures, and head injuries, and these accidents have the potential to be fatal, especially for the elderly which means that they deserve extra attention to make sure they’re protected.
History of Falls Prevention Awareness Day
As people get older, many of their faculties begin to weaken. Eyesight becomes poorer, muscles deteriorate as does coordination. In 1972, Psychology professor Dibner saw a way to help the elderly during this phase of their life. Dibner came up with an idea for a personal emergency response system when they were injured and unable to get to a phone. They could use the device to call for help and in 1976 he was awarded the patent for Lifeline Systems.
Dibner’s invention took off. It gave the elderly the assistance they needed, and their loved ones a sense of relief knowing that they had direct access to medical services. In 1987, Life Alert was created by Isaac Shepher. This gadget could be worn as a necklace or a wristband with an automated dialer that connected to a telephone line. As more emergency response systems were created, they became more accessible, and they were able to help more people in need.
In the 1990s, Life Alert became known by everyone because of its memorable commercial. It showed an elderly woman that falls and uses the medical alert pendant by saying the catchphrase “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” which became famous. The brand visibility of this commercial helped get more of these devices into homes.
In 2007, four state falls prevention coalitions observed Falls Prevention Awareness Day on a state level. The next year, The Falls Free State Coalitions on Falls Prevention Workgroup requested that Falls Prevention Awareness Day be on the first day of fall. Since then, many states have come together to help solve the problem of public health issues related to fallen injuries by working with medical professionals and supporters.