YMCA of Greater Erie

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 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. 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.

As a leading community-based organization dedicated to building a culture of health for all families, the  Y encourages older adults to learn their risk for falls by taking a fall risk test at  http://www.ymca.net/health-wb-fitness/ .

Once risk is assessed, the  Y is helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe by reducing fall risk through programs like Moving for Better 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 & tripping hazards.
    • Putting railings on all stairs & adding grab bars in the bathroom.
    • Installing proper lighting, especially on stairs.