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Elder Falls Bill Passes Congress, Heads to President
Date:4/8/2008

Safety of Seniors Act Will Expand Research, Programs for #1 Cause of Fatal and Nonfatal Injuries for 65+ Americans

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A broad-based coalition of nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the safety and health of older adults applauds today's House passage of S. 845, the Safety of Seniors (SOS) Act, clearing it for the President. This bill comes at a critical point: each year, one in three older Americans (65 and older) falls and about 30% of those falls require medical treatment that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), costs more than $19 billion.

Introduced earlier this year by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in the Senate and Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ralph Hall (R-TX) in the House, this bi-partisan legislation will develop effective public and professional education strategies to raise awareness about elder falls, encourage research to identify at-risk populations, and support demonstration projects aimed at preventing falls among older Americans.

"This bill begins to address the gaps in our efforts to understand and remedy the growing issue of elder falls and its consequences," said William O'Connell, Executive Director of Government Affairs at the National Safety Council (NSC). "The Coalition members thank Senators Enzi and Mikulski and Representatives Pallone and Hall for their exemplary leadership and efforts to keep thousands of older Americans safe from fall-related injuries."

The Falls Free Coalition Advocacy Work Group, led by the National Council on Aging, the National Safety Council, the Home Safety Council, AARP, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the American Physical Therapy Association, worked closely with the offices of Senators Enzi and Mikulski and Representatives Pallone and Hall during the last months to ensure the effectiveness of the legislation.

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SOURCE Falls Free Coalition Advocacy Work Group
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