Preventing Falls As We Age
Preventing Falls As We Age
Each year on the first day of fall, the Y joins national organizations from the Falls Free Coalition and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) for National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. On Saturday, September 22, the YMCA OF THE SUNCOAST is asking older aregiversdults, ca, family members and health care professionals in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties of Florida, to join us in raise awareness 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 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 helps older adults learn their fall risk and access programs that can help them reduce their risk for falls. Falling and fear of falling may prevent older adults from staying active, which leads to reduced mobility, diminished quality of life and increases their risk of falling.
As a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the nation’s health for all families, the YMCA OF THE SUNCOAST encourages older adults to learn their risk for falls by taking an assessment at http://www.ymca.net/health-wb-fitness/.
Once risk is assessed, the YMCA OF THE SUNCOAST is helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe by reducing fall risk through programs like Moving for Better Balance, and EnhanceFitness.
"The EnhanceFitness Program made a change in my life. Last weekend, I went to Disney World with my grandchildren and surprised them because I walked pushing the stroller rather than being pushed in a wheelchair. I was even able to enjoy the rides and stay the entire day. I also was able to walk on Clearwater Beach which was something I could not do for a long time because it was just too exhausting and my ankles were so weak.
Doing these things are great accomplishments for me because for a long time fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, pain and the fear of falling prevented me from enjoying times like these with my family. I know that I was able to do these things because of what a significant difference The EnhanceFitness Program has made in my life."
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:
o Removing clutter & tripping hazards.
o Putting railings on all stairs & adding grab bars in the bathroom.
o Installing proper lighting, especially on stairs.
To learn more about the YMCA OF THE SUNCOAST’s Moving for Better Balance and EnhanceFitness Healthy Living Programs, please contact Summer Cruff at 727 467 9622 (YMCA).