County Executive Ike Leggett, Fire Chief Richard Bowers and Grass Roots Organization for the Well-Being of Seniors (GROWS) President Susan Wranik recently announced a number of safety initiatives aimed at the County’s growing population of seniors.
In 2010, with nearly 120,000 seniors living in Montgomery County, there were 3,294 calls to 9-1-1 attributed to falls by individuals over the age of 60. In turn, nearly 2,100 of those falls were by individuals over the age of 80. While falls are the leading cause of injury-related emergency room visits and hospital admissions for Marylanders over the age of 65, they are highly preventable.
The County has partnered with GROWS to promote educational activities and events throughout September, Falls Prevention Month. Check out a schedule of remaining activities.
In addition, the departments of Health and Human Services and Recreation sponsor Bone Builders classes that help seniors increase their strength and balance. For a schedule, visit the County’s Calendar page and enter Bone Builders in the search function.
The Fire and Rescue Service also provides the “Safety in Our Neighborhood” program which has firefighters visiting communities, going door-to-door to check smoke alarms, helping residents develop escape plans and pointing out potential “trouble spots” in a home. Firefighters will point out tripping hazards and offer suggestions on making homes safer such as installing grab bars, repairing hand rails and adding night lights.