SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – One in four people over the age of 65 falls each year in the United States. In Sioux Falls, emergency personnel respond to about three calls a day for lift assists.
This week is Falls Prevention Awareness Week and Sanford Health is hosting different events.
On Tuesday, people could stop by Falls Community Health for a screening.
“Basically you can either do a three question screening, ‘do you have a fear of falling? — have you fallen in the last year?'” injury prevention and outreach coordinator for trauma program, Sanford, Noel Miller said. “You can do an assessment where you have the senior walk and time how long it takes them to walk 10 feet and back, if it’s greater than 12 seconds, they’re at risk for falling.”
It’s all in an effort to help prevent falls and reduce injuries.
“The majority of incidents that we see coming into the emergency room are broken hips, broken arms, broken wrists,” Miller said.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is kept busy answering calls for lift assists. Last year, the department responded to nearly 1,100 of those calls.
“People call 911 and we come out and we have to send a fire truck with four people to help assist lifting them up, typically we find them in their home, a lot of times in the bathroom and areas that are tighter and makes it more difficult for us to do,” community risk reduction, SFFR, Ryan Cox said.
That can sometimes delay emergency responders to get to higher priority calls. He says they have a referral process to let people know about available resources.
“We refer them to 211 and then 211 will actually call them back and there’s a lot of agencies out there, a lot of great programs throughout Sioux Falls that help people,” Cox said. “It’s really helped reduce our call volume.”
Miller also recommends yearly eye and hearing appointments. For a list of more events happening this week, click here.