On Thursday, September 22—the first day of fall—we are observing Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD). The idea behind FPAD is to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries 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 is committed to helping older adults learn their fall risk and access programs that can help them reduce their risk for falls.
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. We recommend Enhance®Fitness, a senior fitness class that is free for Full Members and open to the community.
- 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.
To learn more about staying active at the Y, please contact your local Greater Joliet Area YMCA branch today!