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Wichita State News

Tool kit aims to reduce falls among older adults

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The first day of fall, Saturday, Sept. 22, also is called Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Forty-six states, including Kansas, are participating in this day by promoting and increasing public awareness about how to prevent and reduce falls among older adults.

Thanks to the work of a Wichita State University-led research team, Kansans can now easily access information to help them maintain active lives and prevent a fall.

Approximately one third of older adults fall annually. Falling is the leading cause of trauma-related death in older adults. But falling is not a normal part of later life, and the risk of falling can be reduced.

The Falling Less in Kansas (Falling LinKS) Toolkit development project was a collaborative research effort among Wichita State University, Envision Low Vision Rehabilitation Center, the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, the Harvey County Department on Aging and the citizens of Harvey County, Kan.

Most fall education and prevention programs are prepared and led by health care professionals. In contrast, the tool kit is designed for people who live in rural areas where health care resources are often scarce. It can be used in the privacy of a person’s home to learn about falls and the steps people can take to prevent them.

The Falling LinKS Toolkit research effort is now in the dissemination phase. The dissemination phase research team includes LaDonna Hale, Karen Kendrick (Envision), Teresa Radebaugh, Shannon Riley (Envision), Michael Rogers, Nicole Rogers and Rosemary Wright.

The tool kit can be accessed on the Regional Institute for Aging website at www.wichita.edu/aging.

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