Don’t Let a Fear of Falls Hold You Back
Each year on the first day of fall, the Y joins national organizations from the Falls Free Coalition and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) for National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. On Sunday, September 22, the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals in Central Iowa to join us in raise awareness to prevent falls among older adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult in the U.S. is treated in the ER for a fall-related injury every 14 seconds and dies from a fall-related injury every 29 minutes. Additionally, falls put an immense strain on the health care system, with the financial toll expected to reach $67.7 billion by 2020. The good news is falls are preventable, and the first step to prevention is understanding risk.
“Falling and fear of falling may can prevent older adults from staying active, which leads to reduced mobility, diminished quality of life and actually increases their risk of falling,” said Angie Paxson, Y Health & Wellness Director. “The good news is that falls are highly preventable and help is available for older adults and their families who want to get active but don’t know how.”
As a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the nation’s health for all families, the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA encourages older adults to learn their risk for falls by taking an assessment at http://www.ymca.net/health-wb-fitness/ or click this link to download the pdf.
The CDC suggests these basic lifestyle and safety changes to help reduce risk or prevent falls:
- Begin an exercise program to improve your leg strength & balance.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines.
- Get annual eye check-ups & update your eyeglasses.
- Make your home safer by:
- Removing clutter & tripping hazards.
- Putting railings on all stairs & adding grab bars in the bathroom.
- Installing proper lighting, especially on stairs.