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 YMCA of Greater Erie 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 specifically for them.
The Y’s Moving for Better Balance program is for adults 55+ and is a Tai Chi based program designed for older active adults who can walk easily. Participants will feel stronger, have better balance and flexibility by using coordinated and flowing movements. The program is offered to Y members only at the Eastside Family Y on Mondays and Fridays beginning Sept. 24.
The CDC suggests these basic lifestyle and safety changes to help reduce risk or prevent falls: