Saturday, September 22nd was “National Falls Prevention Awareness Day” which is observed annually on the first day of Fall. Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), the Brockton based regional elder services agency serving seniors, individuals with disabilities and caregivers, shares specific information about fall prevention.
“National Falls Prevention Awareness Day” increases public awareness of how to prevent and reduce falls in elders. This year’s theme, Standing Together to Prevent Falls, sought to unite professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members to play a part in raising awareness and preventing falls in the older adult population.
Diana DiGiorgi, Executive Director of OCES explained, “According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2008, there were more than 20,000 older adults who died from injuries related to unintended falls. Falls are not normally a part of aging and are preventable, yet far too many elders are admitted into hospitals and nursing homes each year due to falls.”
According to the National Council on Aging:
-Falls are NOT a natural or normal part of aging.
-Anyone can fall. Staying home and limiting activities does not prevent falls.
-It’s never too late to regain muscle strength and start (a physician approved) exercise program, which will help you increase strength and develop better balance.
-Walkers and canes are helpful aids as long as they have been properly fitted.
-Vision loss can increase the risk of falls. Be sure to have your eyes examined annually.
-Elders should also have their medications reviewed periodically.
-Elders should consult with a health professional and have a fall risk assessment done.
“Reducing the number of trip hazards in the home and adopting a physician-approved exercise regimen to strengthen muscles and improve balance are two key ways that elders can reduce the incidence of falls. We need to stand together as a community and raise awareness of preventive measures that can keep elders safe in Massachusetts,” noted DiGiorgi.
The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for millions of older adults—especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged—and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit: www.ncoa.org.
Incorporated in 1974, Old Colony Elder Services is a private, non-profit corporation designated as one of 27 Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. OCES offers a number of programs to serve elders, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers such as Family Caregiver Support; Adult Family Care; Supportive Housing; Nutrition; Money Management; Protective Services and Home Care.
OCES serves elders, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers in 23 communities in Southeastern Massachusetts: Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleboro, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Stoughton, Wareham, West Bridgewater and Whitman.
The organization’s mission is to provide services that support the dignity and independence of elders by helping them maximize their quality of life; live safely and in good health; and, prevent unnecessary or premature institutionalization. For more information call (508) 584-1561 or visit the website at www.oldcolonyelderservices.org.