September is National Fall Prevention Awareness Month

Exciting things happen in September as we ease into Fall,   in honor of National Fall Prevention Awareness Month.    2019 is shaping to with a great line up of events throughout Arizona.   Where ever you live,  it is a great time to reach out to State and local  organizations, especially Falls Prevention Coalitions and Area Offices on Aging to take part in 2019 events.

Did you know? In 2016 in our state of Arizona, unintentional falls contributed to:

· 974 Deaths,
· 14,384 Inpatient Hospitalizations
· 42,808 Emergency Department Visits

The Falls Free Initiative is led by the National Council on Aging. The members at the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition support the initiative through our mission: “To reduce risk of falls in Arizona through education, outreach, evaluation and advocacy”.

2017 and 2018, I appeared on ABC local affiliate KGUN9  Morning Blend TV show,  watch now

Our team of certified Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention (TCAFP) instructors will be on-hand to answer questions and offer TCAFP demonstrations at numerous events in collaboration with our State’s Falls Prevention Coalitions, including:        (more events to be listed soon)

September 4-5, 2019,  Coconino County Department of Health Services hosts  Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention Instructor Qualification Training.   Flagstaff.  CEUS available to Health and Wellness Professionals.  Details at https://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/workshops/workshop/?workshop_id=5123

September 27, 2019,  Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition hosts STAND UP to FALLS  Symposium and Community Event.  Co-sponsored by Master Trainer Heather Chalon, MPH/ Arizona Tai Chi for Health Institute community – offering a demo class and info table.  8am-4pm.

September 27, 2019,  University of Arizona Fall Prevention Institute.  Health Sciences Innovation Bldg.  3:00-5:30pm.

October 26-27, 2019,   Tai chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention Instructor Qualification Training.  Tucson.  CEUS available to Health and Wellness Professionals.Details at https://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/workshops/workshop/?workshop_id=5124

Read more:  Falls are NOT a natural part of the aging process.  Programs such as the evidence based,  Tai chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention program,  endorsed by the CDC, National council on Aging,  Arthritis Foundation, and more,   help millions of people every day to gain strength, balance, mobility, and friendships.   Locally instructors offer weekly classes designed to be safe, effective, and enjoyable.  Ask Master Trainer, Heather Chalon, MPH how you can participate in classes,  learn how to become a practice leader or instructor,  bring the program to your location.   heather@heatherchalon.com

Many people think falls are a normal part of aging. The truth is, they’re not. Most falls can be prevented—and you have the power to reduce your risk.

Exercising, managing your medications, having your vision checked, and making your living environment safer are all steps you can take to prevent a fall.

Every year on the first day of fall, we celebrate National Falls Prevention Awareness Day to bring attention to this growing public health issue. To promote greater awareness and understanding here are 10 common myths—and the reality—about older adult falls:

Myth 1: Falling happens to other people, not to me.

Reality: Many people think, “It won’t happen to me.” But the truth is that 1 in 4 older adults fall every year in the U.S.

Myth 2: Falling is something normal that happens as you get older.

Reality: Falling is not a normal part of aging. Strength and balance exercises, managing your medications, having your vision checked and making your living environment safer are all steps you can take to prevent a fall.

Myth 3: If I limit my activity, I won’t fall.

Reality: Some people believe that the best way to prevent falls is to stay at home and limit activity. Not true. Performing physical activities will actually help you stay independent, as your strength and range of motion benefit from remaining active. Social activities are also good for your overall health.

Myth 4: As long as I stay at home, I can avoid falling.

Reality: Over half of all falls take place at home. Inspect your home for fall risks. Fix simple but serious hazards such as clutter, throw rugs, and poor lighting. Make simple home modifications, such as adding grab bars in the bathroom, a second handrail on stairs, and non-slip paint on outdoor steps.

Myth 5: Muscle strength and flexibility can’t be regained.

Reality: While we do lose muscle as we age, exercise can partially restore strength and flexibility. It’s never too late to start an exercise program. Even if you’ve been a “couch potato” your whole life, becoming active now will benefit you in many ways—including protection from falls.

Myth 6: Taking medication doesn’t increase my risk of falling.

Reality: Taking any medication may increase your risk of falling. Medications affect people in many different ways and can sometimes make you dizzy or sleepy. Be careful when starting a new medication. Talk to your health care provider about potential side effects or interactions of your medications.

Myth 7: I don’t need to get my vision checked every year.

Reality: Vision is another key risk factor for falls. Aging is associated with some forms of vision loss that increase risk of falling and injury. People with vision problems are more than twice as likely to fall as those without visual impairment. Have your eyes checked at least once a year and update your eyeglasses. For those with low vision there are programs and assistive devices that can help. Ask your optometrist for a referral.

Myth 8: Using a walker or cane will make me more dependent.

Reality: Walking aids are very important in helping many older adults maintain or improve their mobility. However, make sure you use these devices safely. Have a physical therapist fit the walker or cane to you and instruct you in its safe use.

Myth 9: I don’t need to talk to family members or my health care provider if I’m concerned about my risk of falling. I don’t want to alarm them, and I want to keep my independence.

Reality: Fall prevention is a team effort. Bring it up with your doctor, family, and anyone else who is in a position to help. They want to help you maintain your mobility and reduce your risk of falling.

Myth 10: I don’t need to talk to my parent, spouse, or other older adult if I’m concerned about their risk of falling. It will hurt their feelings, and it’s none of my business.

Reality: Let them know about your concerns and offer support to help them maintain the highest degree of independence possible. There are many things you can do, including removing hazards in the home, finding a fall prevention program in the community, or setting up a vision exam.

6-Steps-to-Prevent-a-Fall

SPRING Is In The Air – The Wood Element

A time of new beginnings; birth. We notice the plants pushing upwards, awakening and refreshed after their winter hibernation. The sun rises earlier and we naturally awaken earlier. There is an energy of activity and fresh new life all around us – the energy of spring. This season correlates with the wood element ; the color green; liver/gall bladder; eyes; tendons; balanced natural state of passion, kindness, ease (imbalanced state being excessive anger, dissatisfaction, frustration, shouting).

We see green all around us – this tender new life nourishes our soul through our eyes. There is less desire to eat, as the body naturally cleanses itself in spring. Cleansing is not only residue from heavy winter foods, but of excess desire and pent up emotions of dissatisfaction, impatience, anger, and accompanying short sightedness. This season may bring clearer vision; new ways of seeing things. We are encouraging quickness, more rapid movement, more outward activity. Think of a deer leaping and bounding (such movement is governed by the quality of the tendons). A vital liver supports a calm, smooth, soothing way of being – body and mind; decisiveness; sound judgment; leadership capability; ability to bring one’s passion – ideas, creativity, projects out into the world.

Wood element and FOOD and food preparation:

This is the season to clean the liver and gall bladder. Simple food preparation, including raw and sprouted foods may be emphasized. A little bit of such foods can bring in the qualities of cleansing without too much cooling and/or overworking digestion in those who are in a delicate or re-cooperative state.

Select foods reflecting the yang, ascending and expansive energy of spring. These include young plants, fresh greens, sprouts (including wheat and other cereal grasses). Minimize intake of salty and heavy foods, particularly animal products.

Create your own inner spring by selecting sweet and pungent foods such as honey/mint tea, pungent herbs – basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill, bay leaf; complex carbohydrates which are primarily ‘sweet’ flavor (increased by sprouting) – grains, legumes, seeds; young beets, carrots, and other sweet starchy vegetables; raw onions and garlic (to rid the body of parasites).

Include raw food as appropriate. When cooking foods, cook at higher temperatures, with shorter cooking time than winter preparation. If oil is to be used, quickly sauté. When cooking with water steam lightly or briefly simmer foods.

What you can do:

Play Six Healing Sounds Qigong – emphasizing balance and harmony of the whole self, with special attention on the “shhhh” of liver.

Give more focus to playing Qigong practices for the eyes. Play t’ai chi with special attention on the tendons; your ability to feel springy like a deer. If you haven’t done the qigong practices in a class, ask me for details.

Though it is getting warmer outside, keep your neck warm (eg. Wear a scarf), and protect yourself from wind, especially after playing qigong/t’ai chi.

Enjoy getting out in nature; stop and ‘smell the roses’.

Explore your creativity and the projects you have been dreaming about; let them out into the world –the world is waiting for you to authentically, fully express yourself.

Help Spread the Word: Flyers for Tai Chi and Qigong events

Thank you for downloading and distributing through your own email list or posting in social media and/or printing flyers to help us spread the word about upcoming local events.  If you would like a flyer for an event listed on my calendar but not posted here,  please let me know by emailing events@heatherchalon.com

Tai Chi for Health: A Community Approach,  info sheet. Share with anyone seeking collaboration in bringing evidence-based, CDC recommended Falls Prevention,  Chronic Conditions prevention and maintenance programming to their community.  Tai Chi for Fall Prevention A Community Approach 2017

Find a instructor,  for handing out at classes and public events.   email me if you would like the word file to customize for your community. Find an instructor handout flyer DOH and AFPC logos

Chinese Health Day flyer Flyer for UA Health Day 2019

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day flyer World Tai Chi and Qigong Day 2019

Phoenix May 5 Skill Builder Flyer Skill Builder May 5 2019

 

relax, refresh, renew