An older adult in the U.S. is treated in the ER for a fall-related injury every 14 seconds.
Each year on the first day of fall, national organizations from the Falls Free Coalition and the National Council on Aging join together for National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, a day of action to help raise awareness and prevention of falls in Volusia County.
The Volusia Flagler Family YMCA is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals in Volusia County to unite to raise awareness on Sept. 22, to prevent falls among older adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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.
Falls are preventable, and according to a press release from the YMCA, the first step to prevention is understanding risk.
“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,” said Bev Johnson, executive vice president of health strategy, Volusia Flagler Family YMCA. “Falls take a toll on families as well and as the population ages, it is now more important than ever that we bring awareness to a highly preventable risk.”
The Volusia Flagler Family YMCA encourages older adults to learn their risk for falls by taking a fall risk test at ymca.net/health-wb-fitness.
Once risk is assessed, the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA is helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe by reducing fall risk through programs like Moving for Better Balance and Matter of Balance.
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 and tripping hazards.
- Putting railings on all stairs & adding grab bars in the bathroom.
- Installing proper lighting, especially on stairs.
To learn more about the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA’s Moving for Better Balance and Matter of Balance visit vfymca.org/fall-prevention/ or contact Randolyn Haley at [email protected] or 425-5210.