Sept. 22 is the 10th National Falls Prevention Awareness Day and the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy (MEWSA) is joining the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Falls Free Coalition for a day of action.
It’s estimated that one out of three Americans age 65 or older will suffer a fall each year, leaving many of these adults with a fear of falling that can cause them to limit physical activities. This leads to reduced mobility and diminished quality of life. In addition, as the population ages, falls put an immense strain on the health care system.
“The YMCA is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals to raise awareness and prevent falls in the older adult population,” Paul Casey, VP Operations and Branch Development, said in the statement. “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.”
The Centers for Disease Control suggests basic lifestyle and safety changes such as: an exercise program to improve leg strength and balance; a doctor or pharmacist review of medications; annual eye exams; removing clutter and tripping hazards; and installing railings, grab bars in bathrooms, and proper lighting, especially on stairways.
Older adults can assess their fall risk by taking a simple test at www.ymca.net/health-wb-fitness.
For more information, visit the YMCA MEWSA web site, or contact Hannah Thomas at the Metuchen YMCA at 732-548-2044, Dean Seda at the Edison YMCA at 732-494-3232 or Susan Chanese at the South Amboy YMCA at 732-553-9622.