For Release: August 16, 2017 – Cody McDonell, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
A new resource for preventing falls by older adults is now available. As part of Oklahoma's Healthy Aging: Living Longer Better initiative, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS), and several private partners developed a web portal to assist the state’s aging population and their families in finding resources to prevent falls. The resource web portal was created as a part of a collaboration of state agencies and a broad network of partners, including tribal nations and community organizations.
Every year, one out of three adults aged 65 or older experiences a fall, but less than half will tell their health care professional. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. Even if they are not injured, many individuals who experience a fall develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness.
“This fall-prevention web portal is a valuable resource for our older Oklahomans,” said Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. “It connects older adults, their caregivers and family members, and health professionals with resources from across Oklahoma and around the world.”
Healthy Aging: Living Longer Better kicked off with the Governor’s Summit on Healthy Aging in 2014. The summit was a meeting of more than 300 individuals representing 75 organizations and agencies and served as a “call to collaborate.” In 2016, the Governor’s Healthy Aging Summit was attended by representatives of more than 80 organization and agencies. It concluded with the development and support of individual action plans for four focus areas. The current goals of the Healthy Aging initiative are to prevent falls, increase physical activity, reduce depression, and improve nutrition among older adults in Oklahoma.
“I appreciate all the partners who worked together to develop this informative portal,” said Fallin. “Since my first Governor’s Summit on Aging in 2014, efforts have been underway to improve the health and well-being of older Oklahomans.”