Exciting things happen in September as we ease into Fall, in honor of National Fall Prevention Awareness Month. 2018 was 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.
Included in the awareness events:
I appeared on KGUN9 Morning Blend TV show, September 6, watch now
I am presented at the Arizona Aging Well Conference in Phoenix, September 21. As well as in the evening at the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition’s vigil for those who have succumbed to falls – “Light Up the Night”
Our team of certified Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention (TCAFP) instructors were on-hand to answer questions and offer TCAFP demonstrations at numerous events in collaboration with Southern Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition, including: click for Falls Events Flyer
October continues the awareness raising.
October 26, 2018, Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition hosts STAND UP to FALLS Sypmosium and Community Event. Keynote CDC Speaker: Dr Janice Mark. Co-sponsored by Master Trainer Heather Chalon, MPH/ Arizona Tai Chi for Health Institute community – offering a demo class and info table. Register Now
Culminating in hosting Dr Paul Lam, Founder of the Tai Chi for Health Institute, World Leader in Tai Chi for Health Programs – joining us from Sydney Australia to lead two Tai Chi workshops. October 26, Enhancing Sun Style 73 forms. October 27-28, Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention. Details.
Dr Lam coming to Tempe (Phoenix) AZ October 26-28 for two workshops. register for Dr Lam workshops
Thanks to our Sponsor Arizona Department of Health Services, and partner Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition (azstopsfalls.org).
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. email@example.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.
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.