ROCHESTER, Minn. According to the National Council on Aging, falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments each year. That includes more than 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
Minnesota has the 3rd highest death rate in the country from falls for those age 65 and older. A 2018 report from the Olmsted County Medical Examiner shows that Olmsted County has the highest death rate from falls of all the counties in the state.
"We proclaim September 23rd, 2019 as Falls Prevention Awareness Day in the city of Rochester," said Rochester Mayor Emeritus Ardell Brede.
Brede was speaking from experience as he talked about the importance of falls prevention. It was just a few months ago that he took a tumble in a Rochester parking lot.
"I stubbed my toe at the edge of the sidewalk, and down I went," said Brede.
Brede tore his achilles tendon in the fall.
While Brede fell outside in a parking lot, most falls happen inside the home.
"Every fall is a little bit different. And it really kind of depends on the individual, whether it was a trip, perhaps, in the living area," Rochester Fire Department Battallion Chief Holly Mulholland.
Whether it's a rug, a cord, or a cat, we all have things in our homes that are potential tripping hazards.
"Just check your home environment. Reduce the cords, reduce the clutter, reduce the rugs," said Kori Petersson, chair of the Rochester/Olmsted Falls Prevention Coalition.