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Sept. 18-24 is designated Falls Prevention Week

The Alexandria Area YMCA is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals in the community to join in raising awareness to prevent falls among older adults.

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ALEXANDRIA — Did you know that one in four older Americans falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people over the age of 65.

These statistics are why the National Council on Aging has deemed Sept. 18-24 as Falls Prevention Week. The Alexandria Area YMCA is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals in the community to join in raising awareness to prevent falls among older adults.

“Falling and fear of falling may prevent older adults from staying active, which leads to reduced mobility, diminished quality of life and actually increases their risk of falling,” said Tammi Pauly, wellness coordinator, Alexandria Area YMCA, in a press release. “The good news is that falls are highly preventable and help is available for older adults and their families who want to get active.”

The Alexandria Area YMCA is helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe by reducing falls risk through programs like EnhanceFitness. EnhanceFitness is an evidence-based group exercise program for older adults that uses simple, easy-to-learn movements that motivate individuals (particularly those with arthritis) to stay active throughout their life. The next session of EnhanceFitness begins Monday, Oct. 17. Registration is free, and the program is open to both YMCA members and non-members.

National Council on Aging has six steps older adults can take to reduce their risk of falling:

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  • Find a good balance and exercise program – Classes EnhanceFitness help build balance, strength and flexibility — all key in preventing falls.
  • Talk to your health care provider – Share any history of falls and ask your doctor for an assessment on your risk.
  • Regularly review medications with your doctor or pharmacist – Make sure the medications you may be taking don’t have side effects that increase your risk of falling.
  • Have vision and hearing checked annually and update your glasses – Some falls occur
    simply because a person cannot see well. Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.
  • Keep your home safe – Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe and install grab bars in key areas.
  • Talk to your family members – Enlist support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just a seniors’ issue.

To learn more about or to register for EnhanceFitness visit alexandriaymca.com , or call 320-834-9622.

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