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Preventing Dangerous Slips and Falls: The American Foundation for the Blind Launches New Video Series on Staying Safe at Home
Date:5/5/2009

NEW YORK, May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In honor of Older Americans Month, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has launched a new series of videos on preventing dangerous, unintentional falls among seniors with vision loss. This year's theme for Older Americans Month -- "Living Today for a Better Tomorrow" -- reflects the Administration on Aging's (AoA) focus on prevention efforts and programs throughout the country that are helping older adults have better health as they age and avoid the risks of chronic disease, disability, and injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of adults aged 65 and older fall each year in the United States. People with vision loss are almost twice as likely to experience multiple falls as those with normal vision.

"Though vision problems increase your risk of falling, there are a number of things seniors can do to stay safe at home," said Judy Scott, Director of the AFB Center on Vision Loss. "For example, regular exercise like tai chi helps balance, and improving the lighting in your home makes it easier to see your surroundings."

The video series, Preventing Falls by Adapting Your Home, suggests simple and inexpensive changes to a home that can dramatically lessen the chances of a dangerous fall. The videos, created with the help of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Community Occupational Services Program, offer simple steps to prevent falls, increase mobility, and make a home a safer environment. The series is available on AFB Senior Site(R) at www.afb.org/seniorsite/falls, and on DVD through the AFB bookstore at www.afb.org/store.

Featured tips include:

  • Don't store the things you need in high places that would require the use of a step stool to reach.
  • Apply non-skid mats or appliques in bold, contrasting colors to the surface of the tub or shower.
  • Arrange your furniture so that there is a clear path for walking, and keep clutter out of walkways. Avoid using furniture on wheels.
  • Clap-on/clap-off lights in the living room and in your bedroom will keep you from having to get up from your chair to adjust the lighting.
  • During the winter months, keep outdoor pathways clear of ice and snow by using kitty litter or salt, or ask someone to shovel the walkway.

The American Foundation for the Blind created AFB Senior Site (www.afb.org/seniorsite) to help older Americans and their family members cope with age-related eye diseases -- a growing public health problem in this country. Eye experts say that by the year 2030, rates of vision loss from conditions like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy are expected to double as the nation's 78 million baby boomers reach retirement age.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. AFB is also proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than forty years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. For more information visit us online at www.afb.org.


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SOURCE American Foundation for the Blind
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