- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 28 August 2015
September 23 is the first day of fall, but did you know that it’s also National Falls Prevention Awareness Day?
While falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injury for people age 65 and older, falls are not an inevitable part of aging. This year’s Fall Prevention Awareness Day theme, Take a Stand to Prevent Falls, seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injury among older adults.
Studies show that a combination of behavior changes can significantly reduce falls among older adults. Experts recommend:
- Participating in a physical activity regimen with balance, strength training, and flexibility components.
- Consulting with a health professional about getting a fall risk assessment.
- Having medications reviewed periodically.
- Getting eyes and ears checked annually.
- Making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.
The National Council on Aging’s recent United States of Aging Survey polled older adults to find out about how they are preparing for their later years. It found that more than half of seniors questioned said they would be interested in the expansion of community-based health promotion programs, including falls prevention classes.
Healthy Living offers falls prevention workshops
Healthy Living, a program of LifePath, offers evidence-based workshops, two of which focus on maintaining balance, a key component to preventing falls in older adults. Local volunteer leaders lead groups that meet weekly for several weeks in different communities. Caregivers and loved ones of elders and persons with disabilities are also welcome to attend.
“A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls”
Reduce your fear of falling while you increase your activity level. Learn strategies that improve balance and increase flexibility and strength. Set training goals and share practical solutions with each other while you learn to stay safe, active, and independent.
The next free workshop series starts in September!
Join us on Wednesdays, September 30 to November 18, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Greenfield YMCA. Participants are provided with refreshments as well as a workbook to help guide them through the curriculum. We encourage individuals to bring a caregiver, friend or family member if they feel that they need extra support. To register, contact us.
“Tai Chi for Healthy Aging”
Classes consist of simplified Tai Chi exercises adapted to the physical abilities of the group. You will learn to improve balance and general physical functioning, decrease the fear of falling, reduce pain, and achieve greater relaxation. This program has been researched and proven to reduce the risk of falls by 55%.
More about Healthy Living
For more information about Healthy Living or to register for a free workshop, contact us.
You can also be trained to become a volunteer Healthy Living leader and co-lead workshops in your own community. For more information, contact us.