National Falls Prevention Awareness Week occurs every year the third week of September, which takes place from September 20-24 in 2021. The purpose of Falls Prevention Awareness Week is to raise awareness about the impact of falls among older adults, promote the message that most falls are preventable and offer practical solutions to prevent falls. This year for Falls Prevention Awareness Week, the King County Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy (VSHSL), City of Seattle’s Aging and Disability Services (ADS), Sound Generations and several local community-based organizations are teaming up to spread the word about how to prevent falls.
More than 75% of older adult falls take place inside or in close proximity to the home. There are many steps that can be taken to keep homes safe or older adults. Simple actions such as removing trip hazards, increasing lighting and maintaining easy access to the things you use most can effectively reduce fall risk. Simple home modifications, such as installing grab bars, can support better balance and stability as older adults move around their home.
Local King County Programs to Help Prevent Falls
In King County, a variety of programs exist that help older adults assess their home safety and make modifications that reduce their fall risk. King County’s Housing Repair Program, provides loans and grants for home repairs, including accessibility modifications such as grab bars, accessible showers and ADA ramps to accommodate wheelchairs, for low-income homeowners and renters.
Find below local programs that can help prevent falls by making homes safe and accessible. Programs may have different eligibility criteria and availability of services. Contact programs directly for the most up-to-date information. For more information about falls prevention programs in King County and help identifying which program might best fit your needs, call Community Living Connections toll-free at 844-348-5464.
Local Fire Departments
Many local fire departments provide free home safety assessments and can provide some home modifications such as grab bars.
- Bellevue Fire Cares
- Falls City Fire Department
- Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority – FD Cares Program
- South King Fire and Rescue Fall Prevention Program
King County One Step Ahead Program
For older adults who recently experienced a fall, the King County One Step Ahead Program provides a free in-home or virtual visit by a fall prevention health educator. The health educator will provide a home safety walk through to address potential fall hazards, education about staying safe in your home, installation of fall safety devices and information about other community resources that can help older adults stay independent and safe in their home. Call 206-263-8544 for more information and to see if you qualify.
Home Repair Programs
Home Repair Programs provide home repairs, maintenance and accessibility modifications or loan and/or grant funding for these items, for low-income homeowners and renters.
- King County Housing Repair Program
- City of Bellevue Home Repair Program
- City of Federal Way Housing Repair Program
- City of Seattle Home Repair Loan Program
- Habitat for Humanity Home Repair Program
- Rebuilding Together Seattle and Rebuilding Together South Sound
- Sound Generations – Minor Home Repair
Other Home Safety Tools
These additional online resources can help assess the safety of your home.