Take a Stand to Prevent Falls on National Falls Prevention Awareness Day

TaiChi[September 10, 2015, Rye, NY] Each year on the first day of fall more than 70 national organizations across 48 states come together to Take a Stand to Prevent Falls. On Wednesday, September 23, National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, the RYE YMCA is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals to unite to raise awareness to prevent falls among older adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult in the U.S. is treated in the ER for a fall-related injury every 14 seconds and dies from a fall-related injury every 29 minutes. Additionally, falls are a major public health concern accounting for $34 billion in direct medical costs in 2013 alone. The good news is falls are preventable and the first step to prevention is understanding risk.

The Rye Y helps older adults feel strong, steady and safe through programs that can reduce their risk for falls. Enhance Fitness, Tai’Chi, Yoga as well as a range of fitness classes at the Osborn are all included in a Rye Y membership. The Y also offers classes for older adults that  are free and open to the community, including Limbercize and Senior Spirit.

“Falling and fear of falling may cause older adults to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility, diminished quality of life and actually increases their risk of falling,” said Laura Tiedge, Rye Y Senior Director of Healthy Living “In 2009, there were roughly 40 million older adults in the U.S.; by 2030, it’s estimated there will be about 72 million. It’s more important than ever to bring awareness to highly preventable injuries that face this growing population.”

stretchThe CDC suggests these basic lifestyle and safety changes to help reduce the risk of falling:

  • Begin an exercise program to improve your leg strength & balance.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines.
  • Get annual eye check-ups and update your eyeglasses.
  • Make your home safer by:
    • Removing clutter and tripping hazards.
    • Putting railings on all stairs and adding grab bars in the bathroom.
    • Having good lighting, especially on stairs.

To learn more about the Rye Y’s Healthy Living Programs, please visit www.ryeymca.org or contact Diana Vita, Senior Director of Member Wellness at 967-6363.