October 6, 2008

Pennsylvania’s ‘Healthy Steps’ Program Earns National Award


Contact: Jane Crawford of Pennsylvania Department of Aging, +1- 717-783-1549

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/--Pennsylvania's Healthy Steps for Older Adults program, designed to help prevent fall-related injuries, has earned national honors, Secretary of Aging Nora Dowd Eisenhower said today.

The program has earned a 2008 National Mature Media Bronze Award in the Consumer Education Program category. The awards program is sponsored by the Mature Market Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for the senior market that recognizes the countrys finest advertising, marketing and educational materials targeting older adults.

The Healthy Steps Program is a vastly successful way to help older people learn to make their homes safer and to be aware of their movements so they can prevent falls that can lead to serious medical problems, said Secretary Dowd Eisenhower. This award reinforces the need for this program and its great value to those it helps.

The Healthy Steps program teaches seniors how to create a safer home, do balancing exercises and build strength in order to prevent falls. The program was developed in 2004 by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the University of California, Berkeley.

Studies find that falls are the most common cause of injury for older adults and that one out of three people over age 65 fall at least once a year. Most people fall in their own homes and half of those who break a hip and enter a nursing home do not fully recover. For 2005, the hospital cost per case of a fall-related injury totaled $34,904 with an average say of 5.5 days for a total of 342,592 days. Falls accounted for nearly half of all injury-related hospital admissions. Fall-related hospitalizations in Pennsylvania are most common among people over age 65.

In Pennsylvania there are 10,000 seniors enrolled in the program, which is free to people age 50 and older. Those interested in the program can contact their local Area Agency on Aging.

More information about the Healthy Steps for Older Adults Program and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging may be found at www.aging.state.pa.us.

CONTACT:Jane Crawford

(717) 783-1549

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging

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