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From Left to Right: Janice Tyler, director Department on Aging Captain Kim Woodward, Orange County Emergency Services Jim Groves, director Orange County Emergency Services

The Department on Aging and Emergency Services are pleased to launch a new initiative aimed at addressing and preventing falls among older adults and disabled residents. Stay Up and Active, is a partnership between Orange County and the Carolina Geriatric Education Center, the UNC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, and the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

“This innovative program seeks to connect older adults to the services and resources they need to safely age in place,” said Janice Tyler, director of Orange County Department on Aging. “Each year, 1,000 Orange County residents call Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as the result of a fall. Falls can cause a hip fracture or traumatic brain injury after which the individual may need to be placed in a nursing home,” said Jim Groves, director of Orange County Emergency Services.

Beginning in October 2013, residents who call EMS, due to a fall or are screened as being high risk of falling, will have the opportunity to receive a follow up screening conducted by EMS supervisors. Patients will be referred as needed for evaluation and services through the Department on Aging. These services may include home safety education, home modifications, counseling, referral for primary or specialized health care, in-home services, or other resource referrals. For more information, please contact Kim Woodward at Emergency Services at 919.245.6133 or Mary Fraser at the Department on Aging at 919.968.2087.