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.
Studies show that a combination of behavior changes can significantly reduce falls among older adults. Experts recommend:
- Participating in 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 and ears checked annually.
- Making sure the home environment is safe and supportive.
The recent United States of Aging Survey polled older adults to find out about how they are preparing for their later years. It found that more than half of seniors questioned said they would be interested in the expansion of community-based health promotion programs, including falls prevention classes.
At senior centers and other community-based organizations across Westchester County, programs like A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi, Yoga and other fall prevention strength building exercise classes help older adults gain strength, improve balance and build confidence to help them live healthier lives and preserve their independence.
Falls Free® Initiative
Westchester County is part of the national Falls Free® Initiative, which includes 43 state-based falls prevention coalitions and 70 national organizations, professional associations and federal agencies across the country dedicated to reducing fall-related injuries and deaths among older adults.
The registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) at Westchester County's Department of Senior Programs and Services anually present a variety of nutrition-related fall-prevention topics at senior centers and nutrition sites during the months of September and October.
Falls Prevention Awareness Day
The ninth annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day will be observed Sept. 22, 2016 - the first day of fall. This year's theme, Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016, seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.
Educational programs scheduled annually
Starting in September and into October, education programs may be found county-wide in recognition of Fall Prevention Awareness Day. The schedule will be published in September.