H.B. No. 703
  relating to fall prevention awareness.
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 161, Human Resources Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter F to read as follows:
         Sec. 161.151.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. The legislature finds
               (1)  in 2008, 1.14 million older Texans were expected
  to sustain falls;
               (2)  the risk factors associated with falling increase
  with age;
               (3)  approximately 20 to 30 percent of older adults who
  fall suffer moderate to severe injuries, resulting in almost 80,000
  hospitalizations annually and constituting 40 percent of all
  nursing home placements;
               (4)  according to the Centers for Disease Control of
  the United States Public Health Service, the total direct cost of
  all fall-related injuries in 2000 for people 65 years of age and
  older exceeded $19 billion nationwide; and
               (5)  research shows that a well-designed fall
  prevention program that includes risk factor assessments, a focused
  physical activity program, and improvement of the home environment
  can reduce the incidence of falls by 30 to 50 percent.
         Sec. 161.152.  FALL PREVENTION AWARENESS WEEK. The week
  that begins on the first Sunday of each year that falls after the
  date of the autumnal equinox is declared "Fall Prevention Awareness
         Sec. 161.153.  FALL PREVENTION POLICY. The department may
  develop recommendations to:
               (1)  raise public awareness about fall prevention;
               (2)  educate older adults and individuals who provide
  care to older adults about best practices to reduce the incidence
  and risk of falls among older adults;
               (3)  encourage state and local governments and the
  private sector to promote policies and programs that help reduce
  the incidence and risk of falls among older adults;
               (4)  encourage area agencies on aging to include fall
  prevention education in their services;
               (5)  develop a system for reporting falls to improve
  available information on falls; and
               (6)  incorporate fall prevention guidelines into state
  and local planning documents that affect housing, transportation,
  parks, recreational facilities, and other public facilities.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 703 was passed by the House on April
  2, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 145, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 703 was passed by the Senate on May
  12, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________