Nyack Sept 23 — Every 14 seconds, a senior is treated in the ER for a fall-related injury. And fall-related injuries cause the death of an older American every 29 minutes. 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.
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. On Wednesday, September 23, the Rockland County YMCA is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals in ROCKLAND COUNTY to unite to raise awareness to prevent falls among older adults on National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. 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,” said Hector Ocasio, Fitness Director at the ROCKLAND COUNTY YMCA. “In 2009, there were roughly 40 million older adults in the U.S. By 2030, its 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 ROCKLAND COUNTY YMCA encourages older adults to learn their risk for falls by taking a fall risk test at www.ymca.net/healthy-living Once risk is assessed, the ROCKLAND COUNTY YMCA is helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe by offering programs like our AQUA EXERCISE and ENHANCE FITNESS. We also offer “A MATTER OF BALANCE” run by the County Department on Aging and SILVER SNEAKERS offered in partnership with many insurance providers onsite at our YMCA.
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.
To learn more about the ROCKLAND COUNTY YMCA’s programs email Hector Ocasio at HOcasio@rocklandymca.org or call 845 358-0245 x115.