Last August, my grandmother passed away at the age of 89. She and my grandfather were married for an amazing 72 years. She was a super lady with equal parts of sweet and stubborn. While I will remember her for the sweetness, it was the stubbornness that led to her death. While constantly reminded by caring family members to ask for help, Gramma tried to keep a firm grasp on her independence. One day, as she stepped down into the garage by herself, she had a nasty fall which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. After some time in the hospital, my grandmother died from her injury.
I suspect many of you also know an older adult who was injured from a fall. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show my grandmother’s fall was not an unusual event. For adults age 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury death. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. In 2010, over 2 million seniors visited emergency rooms seeking fall-related treatment.
As a senior project manager at NFPA, I am responsible for educational programming related to high-risk populations. One project that is near and dear to my heart is the Remembering When™ program. This program is designed to reduce fire and fall injuries among older adults. We encourage safety educators from the fire service and community organizations to team up to implement Remembering When in group presentations and home visits. This year, we will award full scholarships for 30 teams to attend the Remembering When Conference held in Boston on December 1st-3rd. This is an amazing opportunity for community educators who are interested in training related to fire and fall prevention for seniors. Download an application and send it in before the August 30th due date. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. I hope to see your application cross my desk soon!
If you have attended a Remembering When Conference in the past, chime in! Let us know it helped you implement your program and make a difference in your community.