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Archived News Release from 2003

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Fire Department and Sequoia Hospital Join Forces to Promote Home Safety for Senior Citizens

Redwood City, CA - March 11, 2003 - One of the overriding risk factors for seniors, especially those over age 85, is the potential for serious injury or death resulting from falling down. In fact, in San Mateo County 80-percent of the unintentional injury deaths for people over age 85 are due to falls. With appropriate education and information, this is a statistic that can be greatly reduced, and the Redwood City Fire Department is teaming up with Sequoia Hospital to do just that. To address this need and help the rapidly increasing senior population of San Mateo County maintain its independence, the "In Home Fall Prevention and Safety Program" was developed.

As part of the program, an exercise physiologist from Sequoia Hospital Health & Wellness Services will visit seniors' homes and provide them with a home fall risk and safety assessment, educational materials about fall prevention, and community resource information. During the visit, recommendations will be provided about home repairs and installation of "grab bars" and railings to help minimize the risk of a fall. Further, an appointment will be made for a phone consultation with a Sequoia Hospital pharmacist to discuss the seniors' current medications and any related fall risks.

Seniors scheduling this visit can also elect to have a fire safety inspection done by Redwood City Fire Department staff. This inspection will provide recommendations on how to reduce existing fire hazards in the home, and information on current Redwood City Fire Department community services.

Together, Sequoia Hospital and the Redwood City Fire Department hope to reduce the safety risks experienced by our senior population, related to falls and to fire. To learn more about this joint program or to schedule a home visit, please call Kristin Gurley, M.S., at Sequoia Hospital Health & Wellness Services at 650-367-5991. Sequoia's website is www.sequoiahospital.org. For more tips on fire safety in the home, contact Redwood City Fire Marshal Louis Vella at 650-780-7400. Further fire safety information is available at the National Fire Professional Association's web-site at www.nfpa.org.

Visit Redwood City's website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business. Redwood City news releases are also available online, at www.redwoodcity.org/news.

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Contact:

Steve Cavallero, Battalion Chief
Redwood City Fire Department
(650) 780-7455

Kristin Gurley, M.S.
Sequoia Hospital Health & Wellness Services
650-367-5991



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