Press Release: The American Institute of Balance joins state coalition in observing Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Sept. 22, 2012


Contact: Rochelle Yellowdy Phone: 727-398-5728 Email: [email protected]

The American Institute of Balance joins state coalition in observing Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Sept. 22, 2012

 Largo, Florida – The American Institute of Balance will join with the Florida Older Adult Falls Prevention Coalition (FCOA) to recognize Saturday, September 22, 2012, as Falls Prevention Awareness Day, and encourage all individuals in Pinellas County to use the autumn season to educate themselves and their loved ones about the risk of falls and fall-related injury that increases as we age. Founded in 1992, The American Institute of Balance (AIB) is a worldwide leader in patient care, research, and professional education in equilibrium disorders.  AIB has 5 locations including 3 in the Tampa Bay area (University of South Florida, Tampa; Largo, and Port Richey) and locations in Orlando and in Winter Park. As the largest dizziness and balance center in the U.S., AIB has evaluated and treated over 100,000 patients including successful treatment of over 9,000 patients with positional vertigo or BPPV. “The National Institutes of Health has proclaimed dizziness and falls among older adults to be a national health care crisis. Quite simply, falling and injuries do not have to part of the normal aging process” said Richard E. Gans, Ph.D., AIB’s Founder and Executive Director. Falls Prevention Awareness Day is promoted at the state level by the Florida Council on Aging.  AIB will kick off its campaign with 500 Fall Prevention Kits and information cards being mailed to physicians in the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas.  The kit will contain education materials for the physicians, including an online continuing medical education course, Dizziness, Vertigo and Falls in the Older Adult: A Healthcare Crisis, Physician Screening forms and patient education handouts providing fall prevention and safety tips for older adults. According to the FCOA, it is estimated that annually there are more than 150,000 hospital-treated injuries from falls among Floridians age 65 or older, with medical charges exceeding $2 billion. Nearly 18 percent of Florida residents are 65 years of age or older.  Injuries from falls are a preventable community health problem and education is an important first step in increasing public awareness regarding elder falls prevention and home safety.  Experts recommend a physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components; consulting with a health professional about getting a fall risk assessment; having medications reviewed periodically; getting eyes and hearing checked; and making sure the home environment is safe and supportive. If you would like information on dizziness, vertigo or falls for yourself or a loved one, or you are a healthcare provider interested in our education programs contact The American Institute of Balance at 727-565-0093.