Falls prevention event: Prevention that goes beyond the throw rug | TheUnion.com

Falls prevention event: Prevention that goes beyond the throw rug

Throw rugs, weakened muscles, a pet, medication, the staircase, chronic health conditions, a power cord, climbing a ladder, dementia, spilled liquid, or even a worsening health condition can cause one in four Americans aged 65 and older to fall each year.

Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including more than 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, communities across the United States are taking action to help individuals decrease the risk of falls in their homes, at their places of work and everywhere else in their daily lives.

To that end, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation's Falls Prevention Coalition of Nevada County is continuing to ramp up its local outreach efforts.

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The coalition is a 30-member group of residents and professionals who work with seniors and nurses, physical and occupational therapists, senior exercise specialists, health educators and independent living and rehabilitation/long-term care specialists.

On Wednesday, Sept. 9 the coalition is hosting its annual free community event, which on average attracts more than 300 attendees. This year's theme is "Fall Prevention 'Beyond the Throw Rug'" and, according to program coordinator Karen Marinovich, will further the coalition's goal of ending the stigma around aging.

"People – especially as they get older ‑ often hesitate to talk about a fall they have had," said Marinovich. "However, if that stigma can be removed, it's incredibly beneficial. It frees them to openly talk about the fact that they fell, begin to understand why they fell and develop a plan to have control over their life."

In 2014 alone, more than 1,000 Nevada County residents went to the Emergency Department at Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital due to a fall. Another 513 people age 50 to 64 had a fall injury that led to a visit to the emergency department.

"Fall Prevention 'Beyond the Throw Rug'" will discuss what keeps individuals from taking the steps to reduce falls and will teach attendees how to create their own, personalized plan to fit their specific lifestyles.

"It's our job to give our community members the tools so that they can decide and create what works best for them," said Marinovich.

The event will feature a keynote speaker, a resource fair, music by the Forever Young Senior Chorus, morning coffee and pastries and a healthy buffet lunch courtesy of Atria Grass Valley.

This year's keynote speaker is Mark Bancroft, MS, who will be discussing "Decision Making and the 10 Keys to Excellent Health." Bancroft is a Holistic Life and Health Coach with 24 years of experience in helping people enjoy positive change, healing, and transformation.

His talk will focus on the value and benefits of an effective decision-making strategy to inspire excellent health today and for the journey into the years ahead.

The event will also include local speakers and organizations presenting on topics including how to set exercise goals and plans; local options for staying connected and having fun; and education on how to "fall proof" a home.

The event is sponsored by Atria Grass Valley, Cascades of Grass Valley, Eskaton and The Union.

For more information about the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation's Falls Prevention Coalition of Nevada County, visit http://www.supportsierranevada.org/fallspreventioncoalition or call 530-477-9700.

This year’s Falls Prevention Coalition community event is free to attend and will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Seventh Day Adventist Church at 12889 Osborne Hill Road in Grass Valley.

Please register by Sept. 7 by visiting http://www.supportsierranevada.org/fallspreventionevent or by calling 530-477-9700.

Reduce your risk of falling

• Begin a regular exercise program. Exercises, including walking, improve muscle strength and balance.

• Make your home safer. Remove things you can trip over. Use night lights and install grab bars in the bathroom.

• Have your health care provider review your medications. Some medications or combination of medications can make you drowsy or light-headed, which can lead to a fall.

• Have your vision checked. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.