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Fall Prevention during Brain Injury Awareness Month
(Minneapolis - February 20, 2008) – Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has once again declared March as Brain Injury Awareness Month. Following on the success of last year's proclamation, the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota is ramping up its efforts to spread awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), frequently referred to as a "silent epidemic."
This year, the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota will be focusing its awareness efforts on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's national initiative "Help Seniors Live Better Longer: Prevent Brain Injury."
Falls are the number one cause of brain injury among people over the age of 75, an age group that also has the highest rate of TBI-related hospitalizations and deaths. Minnesota in particular has a high number of fall-related TBIs in the senior population.
Because prevention is the only cure for brain injury, the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota has several pointers for making a home "fall proof."
- FLOORS – Make sure all floors are free of obstacles such as cords, boxes and rugs.
- STAIRS – All stairs should be adequately lit for their entire length. Light switches should be easily accessible. Handrails should run on both sides and be properly maintained.
- KITCHEN – Frequently used items should be placed on low shelves or cabinets. Any step stools should have a bar for balance.
- BATHROOM – Tubs should have a non-slip rubber mat and grab bars to hold onto when entering or exiting the tub.
- BEDROOM – Lights should be located within reach of the bed. Nightlights should illuminate all walkways.
If proper preventative steps are taken, falls in the senior population can be decreased dramatically.
Every year, people lose jobs, relationships crumble and lives are forever altered because of a disability due to brain injury. Brain injury does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time.
For more information, contact the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota at 800-669-6442 or visit www.braininjurymn.org.