The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a national campaign to encourage older adults to “age without injury,” the agency said Thursday.
The aim of the campaign, called Still Going Strong, is to raise awareness about the leading causes of unintentional injuries and deaths in seniors. It also offers injury prevention information and advice to older adults, their caregivers and healthcare providers.
A CDC report has found that unintentional falls are the cause of more than 90% of emergency department visits in adults aged 65 years or more. Fall- and motor vehicle-related injuries have been increasing in this age group, Debra Houry, M.D., MPH, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a statement.
Injuries do not have to be a normal part of aging, Houry added. Many of the potentially life-changing injuries that are common in older adults can be prevented, allowing them to maintain mobility and independence, she said.
“We hope Still Going Strong will help inform our audience about simple steps they can do to prevent injuries and their lasting effects. Everyone has a role — older adults, caregivers, loved ones and healthcare providers.”
Eldercare providers, for example, can ask their patients whether they have concerns about falling or driving safely and also can review medications to identify whether any cause drowsiness or dizziness, according to campaign literature. Important injury-reduction steps include exercises to improve strength and mobility, regular eye exams, and a reduction in medications linked to risk for injury, such as benzodiazepines, opioids and antidepressants, the CDC noted.
The Still Going Strong campaign initially will target ads to four states known to have the highest incidences of elder falls and other injuries: Maine, Oklahoma, Oregon and Wisconsin. Digital and social media and partner efforts will be used for national reach, the CDC said.