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National Falls Prevention Awareness Day

by Kristen Hogan | Aug 27, 2018

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 Saturday, September 22, the YMCA of the Capital Area is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals in our community 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.

With a focus on healthy aging, the Y helps older adults learn their fall risk and access programs that can help them reduce their risk for falls. Falling and fear of falling may prevent older adults from staying active, which leads to reduced mobility, diminished quality of life and increases their risk of falling.

As a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the nation’s health for all families, the YMCA of the Capital Area encourages older adults to learn their risk for falls. Click here to take an assessment to see if you might be at risk for falls.

Once risk is assessed, the YMCA of the Capital Area is helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe by reducing fall risk through programs such as Movement Matters, A.O.A. (Active Older Adults), Light N Low, Enhance Fitness ®, Aqua Fit (or Water Fitness), and Chair Yoga.

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.