“Standing Together to Prevent Falls”
Fall is just around the corner, but falls shouldn’t be just around the corner for older adults. That’s why Allegany County is joining communities from across 48 states to declare Falls Prevention Awareness Day on the first day of fall, September 22, 2017.
While falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injury for people 65 years of age and older, they are not an inevitable part of aging. The 10th annual Fall Prevention Awareness Day theme, “10 Years Standing Together to Prevent Falls,” seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injury among older adults.
The Allegany County Fall Prevention Collaborative was established in 2009 to combat the issue of falls in older adults. “Allegany County has made major strides toward reducing the risks of unintentional injuries in older adults,” stated Melissa Biddle, Community Health Division Manager with Ardent Solutions. “Recent data collected from the New York State Department of Health and the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York indicates a significant positive change in the rate of hospitalizations due to unintentional falls,” continued Biddle.
Studies show that a combination of interventions can significantly reduce falls among older adults. Experts recommend:
- 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 checked annually.
- Making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.
- New research also suggests hearing loss should be routinely assessed
Programs like “A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falling” and Growing Stronger are held throughout Allegany County to help older adults gain strength, improve balance, and ensure confidence to live healthier lives and preserve their independence.
Older adults are invited to join Growing Stronger in any of our eleven convenient locations; including Andover, Angelica, Belfast, Belmont, Bolivar, Canaseraga, Cuba, Fillmore, Friendship and Wellsville (2). The weight bearing exercises are free to attend and are instructed by peers. For more information, please call Melissa Biddle, Community Health Division Manager with Ardent Solutions, Inc. at 585-593-5223, ext. 1015.
Falls are not a part of the natural aging process. Falls can be prevented. Remember Prevention Works!