The staggering numbers show how serious falls are for older adults. The National Council on Aging reports that one in four Americans age 65 and over fall each year. In America, every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. Every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. They are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
September is National Fall Prevention Month and the mission is to raise awareness and provide education for ways to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. The 2019 Pierce County Falls Prevention Day observance will be held Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Morgan Family YMCA, located at 1002 S. Pearl St. in Tacoma.
This event will offer practical information about the various causes of falls among seniors and what people can do to reduce their risk. Participants will receive fall risk assessments, balance testing and blood pressure checks. The Pacific Lutheran University Department of Kinesiology will be on hand to provide fall prevention screenings. Information about vision testing, prescription drug side effects, hearing problems, foot care and numerous ways to make the home a much safer place will also be available. Attendees will hear about the many community centers that offer specialized strength and balance programs such as SAIL (Stay Active and Independent for Life), which help seniors prevent falls.
“Falls are a scary thing,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources manager. “Most people know that falls are dangerous for older adults. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury. Fear of falling can also seriously affect an aging adult’s quality of life and, sadly, can keep a person from being active and thriving.”
This event is free and open to the public. Attendees do not need to RSVP. It is sponsored by the Pierce County Fall Prevention Coalition and Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. More information is available by calling the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600.
Bob Riler, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources
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