National Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Jeannie Winselman and Audrey Clough
SAC’s Enrichment Center

September 22–the first day of fall–marks National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). This year’s theme is Take a Stand to Prevent Falls.

Falls are the leading cause of injury related emergency department visits for older adults and the major cause of hip fractures. In addition, they are responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries. Numerous states and countries worldwide are coalescing to address this growing public health issue. Many states are working closely with occupational therapy practitioners as key contributors to reducing falls.

The good news is that many falls are preventable, and organizations like NCOA are promoting measures that can help. Here are some excellent ways to prevent a fall:

1) Find a balance or exercise program. It is never too late to build stability, strength, and flexibility. SAC’s Enrichment Center offers an exercise program called “Morning Stretch” every Monday and Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., as well as “Wellness Walking” every Monday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Come in and check these programs out.

2) Discuss your fear of falling with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess your risk of falling and recommend strategies to help.

3) Review your medications with your doctor to determine whether any of your medications increase your chance of a fall. They may recommend alternatives to reduce this risk.

4) Have your vision and hearing checked annually. Your ability to hear and see can greatly impact your balance and your ability to avoid obstacles.

5) Keep your home safe. Evaluate your home for fall hazards. Remove obstacles, such as rags or clutter that might cause you to trip. Make sure your entryways are well-lit. Install grab bars in areas such as in the bathroom or near the front door. It might be a good idea to consult an occupational therapist to assess your home and provide you with recommendations.

Studies have shown that all of these steps can drastically reduce fall risk among older adults. So, be sure to keep these in mind and “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls.”

Weekly Activities
Monday, Sept. 25
• 8:30 a.m. – Morning Stretch.
• 9:15 a.m. – Leave at SAC’s Center for Cruise on Lake Harriet Island.
• 9:30 a.m. – Walking.
• 1:00 p.m. – Bridge.
Tuesday, Sept. 26
• 9:30 a.m. – Crocheting.
• 10 a.m. – Adult Coloring.
• 10 a.m. – Knit & Stitch.
• Noon – “Hand and Foot” Cards.
Wednesday, Sept. 27
• 8:30 a.m. – Morning Stretch.
• 9:00 a.m. – Cribbage.
Thursday, Sept. 28
• 9:30 a.m. – Walking.
• Noon – “500” cards.

Upcoming Events
• Monday, Sept. 25: Cruise down the Mighty Mississippi. Leave from SAC’s Center at 9:15 a.m. and board the Jonathan Padelford River Boat at 10:30 a.m. Great history lesson, great food, and great entertainment.

• Tuesday, Oct. 3: Tour of Minnesota Capitol. This is full. We will leave at 8:45 a.m. from the Center and return by 4 p.m.

• Thursday, Oct. 19: Tour of Minnesota Capitol. Call 763-689-6555 to sign up. We will go to the History Theatre in the morning to see a play, “All The Way.” November 22, 1963—November, 1964. The day that JFK was assassinated in Dallas, Lyndon Baynes Johnson (LBJ) became the 37th President of the United States. The country was in shock and yet the business of the nation continued. The top priority was the Civil Rights Act, ad in Tony Award-winning Broadway play, LBJ, Martin Luther King and Minnesota’s Humbert H. Humphrey take on a Congress divided on this hot button matter of policy. This was a turbulent time in our history. Churches were being bombed by members of the KKK, Freedom Riders disappeared into the night, George Wallace held a tight grip on Alabama, Bobby Kennedy posed a challenge to LBJ in the coming election and tensions ran high from coast to coast. Cost: Play $25, Transportation $15, Tour Free, Lunch at Mears Park, surrounded by Lunch Trunks. We will leave at 8:45 a.m. from Center. This looks fantastic.