September 22 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Along with our Friends at the National Council on Aging (NCOA), we want to share three goals of the NCOA’s Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016 theme:
1) Be Ready – Education is the most important step to being ready to prevent a fall. Online and at thousands of community organizations, there are resources to help older adults understand their risk of falling.
They can also enroll in evidence-based falls prevention programs to learn how to address their fear of falling and what they can do to sustain their strength. The Area Agency on Aging District 7 is proud to offer the A Matter of Balance falls management program. Call us at 1-800-582-7277 to learn more and to find out when the program is coming to a community near you.
2) Be Steady – Older adults can be steady if they take simple steps to prevent falls. These include talking with a doctor about medications, having hearing and vision checkups, and assessing living spaces for hazards.
3) Be Balanced – “Falls prevention is a team effort that takes a balance of education, preparation, and community support,” said Kathleen Cameron, senior director of NCOA’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center. “Falls Prevention Awareness Day is an opportunity to take a look at the world around us, be aware of falls hazards, and think about how we can make changes that will help our parents, grandparents, aging neighbors, and even ourselves be safe from falls.
The AAA7 is also a proud partner of the STEADY U Ohio initiative, the state’s older adult falls prevention initiative.
Falls among older Ohioans have reached epidemic proportions; one in three older adults will fall this year, and falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths among our elders. A single fall can change the life not only of the person who falls, but also his or her family members who may have to become a caregiver for their loved one. The good news is that falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented. For more information, log on to http://aging.ohio.gov/steadyu/
For more information about the Matter of Balance falls prevention program or about long-term care resources in your community, call our agency at 1-800-582-7277, or e-mail [email protected]
Pamela K. Matura is the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7, which includes Highland County.