MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — September is a big month for seniors! The YMCA is recognizing both National Falls Prevention Awareness Day September 22nd and Active Aging Week September 23rd - 29th, 2019. Experts say it’s estimated that 1 out of 3 Americans, aged 65 or older, will suffer a fall at some time in their life, leaving them fearful of falling altogether. And, they say that fear can cause older adults to limit physical activities. “This leads to reduced mobility and diminished quality of life, and actually increases their risk of falling. With a focus on healthy aging, the Y is committed to helping seniors access programs that can help them build strength in spirit, mind and body," said Jennifer Menk, Senior Director of Health and Well-being at the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities.

Experts agree the first step to prevention is understanding the risk. Right now seniors can assess their fall risk by taking a simple test. Click here for more information. During the YMCA assessment, individuals can learn how routine activities and other factors help determine their risk for falls. The CDC suggests these basic lifestyle and safety changes to help reduce risk or prevent falls:

BEGIN AN EXERCISE PROGRAM TO IMPROVE YOUR LEG STRENGTH  & BALANCE

 

ASK YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST TO REVIEW YOUR MEDICINES

 

GET AN ANNUAL EYE CHECK-UP & UPDATE YOUR EYEGLASS PRESCRIPTION

 

REMOVE CLUTTER & TRIPPING HAZARDS FROM YOUR HOME

 

PUT RAILINGS ON ALL STARS &  ADD GRAB BARS IN THE BATHROOM

 

INSTALL PROPER LIGHTING IN YOUR HOME, ESPECIALLY ON STAIRS

 

“The YMCA is dedicated to empowering seniors in our community to improve their health in a safe way,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA. “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.”