President signs elder falls bill

Home Safety Council applauds enactment

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WASHINGTON -- The Home Safety Council, the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to preventing unintentional home injuries, applauds the enactment of the Safety of Seniors Act.

The bill, signed into law by President Bush, comes at a critical time when each year, one in three Americans age 65 and older falls and about 30 percent of those who fall require medical treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it costs more than $19 billion annually to treat the elderly for the effects of falls.

Introduced by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in the Senate and Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ralph Hall (R-TX) in the House, this bi-partisan legislation, now Public Law 110-202, will develop effective public and professional education strategies to raise awareness about elder falls, encourage research to identify at-risk populations and evaluate falls interventions, and support demonstration projects aimed at preventing falls among older Americans.

"We thank Senators Enzi and Mikulski and Representatives Pallone and Hall for their consistent leadership on this issue," said Patricia Adkins, Chief Operating Officer of the Home Safety Council. "We applaud their efforts and are proud to have worked with them to achieve the enactment of an important law that will help keep millions of older Americans safe from falls-related injuries," she added.
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