Take a Stand to Prevent Falls - Active Older Adults
Each year on the first day of fall more than 70 national organizations across 48 states come together to Take a Stand to Prevent Falls. September 23rd is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day but awareness shouldn't stop there! The YMCA continues to educate older adults, caregivers, family members and our community members on how 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 are a major public health concern accounting for $34 billion in direct medical costs in 2013 alone. 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.
Older adults are valuable members of our families and communities, and falling and fear of falling may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility, diminished quality of life and actually increases their risk of falling. In 2009, there were roughly 40 million older adults in the U.S.; by 2030, it’s estimated there will be about 72 million. It is now more important than ever that we bring awareness to a highly preventable risk facing this growing population.
As a leading voice on improving the nation’s health, the YMCA encourages older adults to learn their risk for falls by taking a fall risk test at www.ymca.net/healthy-living.
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.
- Having good lighting, especially on stairs.
Visit your local branch for Active Older Adult programs