Maui Business

Lānaʻi Health Workers Honored for Senior Fall Prevention

December 16, 2014, 10:30 AM HST
* Updated December 18, 9:28 AM
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Mike Dowell. Courtesy photo.

Mike Dowell. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

Two health care workers with ties to the Island of Lānaʻi will be honored by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health for their achievements and dedication to promoting fall prevention in the state.

Michael Dowell of Stay at Home Modifications and Linda Mau, a public health nurse on Lānaʻi are among four individuals who will be honored with a special trophy and proclamation during a ceremony on Dec. 29, at the Plaza Club in Honolulu.

According to Health officials, Dowell is being recognized for his work on the Island of Lānaʻi where he assessed, repaired, and modified more than 40 homes to make them safe for senior residents.

Health officials say Mau is being recognized for her “dedication and passion for helping prevent senior falls in her community.”

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After earning certification as a Tai Chi instructor on Maui, Mau has since taken those skills back home to Lānaʻi, where she is teaching clients at the Lānaʻi Senior Center and the Lānaʻi Hospital.

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In a Health Department press release, officials said Tai Chi is the number one exercise program to help prevent senior falls as determined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Council on Aging.

According to the state Health Department, every hour of every day in Hawaiʻi, a senior is transported by ambulance to an emergency room because of a fall injury.

That reportedly translates to more than 8,700 senior falls per year, and more than $120 million spent on physician and hospital charges for related injuries.

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