National Falls Prevention Awareness Day
Monday, September 23 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day and The Gateway Family YMCA is joining the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Falls Free Coalition to help raise awareness and prevention of falls in Eastern Union County and Northern Middlesex County, NJ.
Each year, it’s estimated that one out of four Americans aged 65 or older will suffer a fall, leaving many adults with a fear of falling that can cause them to limit physical activities. This leads to reduced mobility and diminished quality of life and can increase their risk of falling. In addition, as the population ages 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 that many falls are preventable. With a focus on healthy aging, the Y is committed to helping older adults learn their fall risk and provide resources that can help them reduce their risk for falls.
“As a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the nation’s health, the Y is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals to raise awareness and prevent falls in the older adult population,” said Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “Many falls are preventable, but many older adults and their families don’t know how to safely get active. The good news is that organizations like the Y can help,” added Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO.
The first step to prevention is understanding risk. Older adults can assess their fall risk by taking a simple test at ymca.net/fallsrisk. Through this assessment, individuals can learn how routine activities and other factors help determine their risk for falls.
Once assessing risk, the next step is to take action; The Gateway Family YMCA is helping to improve the health and well-being of older adults across the country through programs like Enhance®Fitness, Action Against Arthritis, Tai Chi, Water Exercise, SilverSneakers Fitness and Gentle Yoga.
The CDC suggests these basic lifestyle and safety changes to help reduce risk and 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.
The Gateway Family YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization of caring staff and volunteers dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Gateway Family YMCA impacts the community by providing quality services to people of all ages, races, faith or incomes. The Y does not just strengthen bodies – it strengthens people, families and communities.
To learn more about The Gateway Family YMCA programs, visit www.tgfymca.org or contact the Elizabeth Branch at 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch 908-688-9622, Rahway Branch 732-388-0057, Wellness Center Branch 908-349-9622, WISE Center Branch 908-687-2995 or Youth Development Branch 908-355-3061.