Thursday, September 22, is the first day of fall—and also Falls Prevention Awareness Day. The National Council on Aging initiated this program in 2008. This year’s theme is “Ready, Steady, Balance.” We will be celebrating this important day with a variety of special programs. Please check the calendar for a list of events. Dining Services has joined in and will have a special “first day of fall” menu to make the day memorable.
Falls are a major risk for older adults; many RGP residents can attest to how difficult it is to recover from a fall, which can result in lasting pain, difficulty ambulating, and loss of independence. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that one in five falls causes a serious injury (such as broken bones or head injuries) and 2.5 million older adults are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries. Rather than treat the damage caused by a fall, we want to prevent falls. Like Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
RGP is providing a pound of prevention by regularly offering a variety of exercises and special classes to prevent falls. Every Monday and Wednesday, during Open Gym, trainers provide specific exercises to prevent falls. We are also bringing in a new Tai Chi instructor because this exercise is exceptionally effective in promoting balance.
Fall prevention is an ongoing effort, requiring awareness and exercise, so we’re making fall prevention a year-round topic of conversation. To this end, we are encouraging input from residents on how to prevent falls. Residents can submit their suggestions, ideas, and advice for preventing falls in the suggestion box, located by the mailboxes. We are soliciting your ideas on the following:
- What is your advice for preventing falls?
- What types of exercise do you like best?
- What do you do to improve balance?
- How do you keep your balance in your room?
- What do you do when feeling dizzy?
Your suggestions and input from Health Services can help make 2016 a fall-free year.