The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started a campaign Still Going Strong to help adults over 65 years of age. This campaign is mainly to remind elderly people that they don’t have to give up activities just because they’re getting older. This campaign also raises awareness about the leading cause of unintentional injuries that causes death in elderly people. Nearly 2.4 million people of that age are admitted to the emergency department each year after injuries. These injuries are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries in this age group. Still Going Strong campaign provides injury prevention information advice to older adults, their healthcare providers, and caretakers.
A CDC report says that unintentional falls are the main cause of more than 90% of emergency department visits among elderly people aged 65 years or more. Dr. Debra Houry, M.D., MPH, director of CDC says that fall and motor vehicle-related injuries have been on the rise in this age group. Many people think that injuries are a normal part of aging, which is absolutely not. Life-changing and threatening injuries among elders can be prevented by allowing them to maintain mobility and independence, says Houry. The Still Going Strong campaign will teach simple steps to the participants to prevent injuries and lasting effects. Everyone has a role in protecting the elderly people- older adults (themselves), caregivers, healthcare providers, and loved ones. By taking the necessary steps we can prevent life-changing injuries from happening.
The Still Going Campaign has two main goals,
- To educate about common risk factors and traumatic brain injuries such as falls and motor vehicle crashes.
- To empower elderly people and their caretakers to take simple and necessary steps that prevent them from injuries without sacrificing their independence.
Main Causes That Lead Elderly People to Injure
Falls- Falls are the foremost cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in older adults. Elderly people fall every second of the day which is 36 million falls every year. 1 out of every 5 falls causes a serious injury that leads to broken bones and head injury. Falling again and again can also lead to severe injuries.
Motor vehicle crashes– In the United States, 46 million elderly adults have a license. i.e 1 in 5 drivers are elderly people. Driving allows elderly people to stay independent but it increases the risk of being injured or killed in an accident. Nearly 700 older adults are injured in a vehicle crash of which 22 die.
TBI- Traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls and motor vehicle crashes. It is the major cause of death and disability among older adults. People who survived TBI also face its effects for a few days or even the rest of their lives.
In the United States, nearly 10,000 people turn 65 every day. Aging should not prevent them from doing their favorite hobbies and activities. Older adults and their caretakers must understand the common injuries and must take necessary steps to prevent them. The Still Going Strong campaign will first target ads to four states- Maine, Oregon, Wisconsin, Oklahoma as these states have the highest incidence of elderly falls and other injuries.