Falls Prevention Day – September 22: Wear A Yellow Ribbon

steadyfinalcircle2Missouri and 47 other states will participate in Falls Prevention Awareness Day on Sept. 22, the first day of fall. Their goal is to show that falls can be prevented and are not a natural part of aging. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries for Americans 65 and older.

“Older adults want to stay active, independent, and safe in their homes, but many worry about their risk of falling,” said Catherine Edwards, Executive Director of the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging (MA4). “In fact, one in three Americans over the age of 65 falls every year. However, every older adult has the power to prevent a fall.”

Across the country, senior centers and older adult organizations will host classes and seminars, perform thousands of fall-risk screenings, and educate older adults about this year’s theme:  Ready, Steady, Balance:  Prevent Falls in 2016. The theme highlights three goals that older adults have the power to achieve:

  1. Be ready: Education is the most important step in being ready to prevent a Online and at thousands of community organizations, there are resources to help older adults understand their risk of falling. They also can enroll in evidence-based falls-prevention programs to learn how to address their fear of falling and what they can do to sustain their strength.
  1. Be steady: Older adults can be steady if they take simple steps to prevent These include talking with a doctor about medications, getting hearing and vision checkups, and assessing living spaces for hazards. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) offers an award-winning video that provides 6 Steps to Prevent a Fall.
  1. Be balanced:

The 9thannual Falls Prevention Awareness Day is an opportunity to take a look at the world around us, be aware of falls hazards, and think about how we can make changes that will help our parents, grandparents, aging neighbors, and even ourselves be safe from falls.

For the first time this year, MA4,  NCOA and its Falls Free® Coalition encourage supporters to wear a yellow ribbon to increase awareness of falls prevention. For more information, contact Catherine Edwards at cedwards@ma4web.org.

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