September is Falls Prevention Awareness Month, a time to recognize the impact falls have on the lives of millions of Americans each year and take action to prevent falls.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in four adults over the age of 65 fall each year. Additionally, the National Council on Aging reports that an older person is seen in an emergency room every 11 seconds due to a fall-related injury, according to a press release from Healthy Living for ME.
“Healthy Living for ME is actively making a difference for Mainers who are at risk for falls. Through workshops and resource connections, network partners across the state are helping Mainers reduce their risk of falls and improve their quality of life,” said Jennifer Fortin, Education and Retention Manager, Healthy Living for ME. “During this Falls Prevention Awareness Month, we are encouraging Mainers to assess their own risk of falls and have falls prevention conversations with loved ones who may be at risk.”
In May, Healthy Living for ME announced that more than 2,100 Mainers had attended the network’s falls prevention workshops, with 98% of attendees reporting making positive changes as a result of their experience.
In 2022, Healthy Living for ME will mark Falls Prevention Awareness Month with several events in addition to the falls prevention workshops regularly offered by the network.
Falls Prevention Awareness Week takes place Sunday through Saturday, September 18-24. Healthy Living for ME plans to hold two public drop-in events to provide free balance assessments and information/resources to Mainers.
• On Monday, September 19, Healthy Living for ME welcomes people from 10 am to 11:30 am at the Muskie Community Center at 38 Gold Street in Waterville for a balance screening and walk-in information event.
• On Thursday, September 22, Healthy Living for ME welcomes people from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cohen Community Center at 22 Town Farm Road in Hallowell for a balance screening and walk-in information event .
Healthy Living for ME will also be presenting a falls prevention exhibit from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, September 15 at the Aging in the Right Place Forum at Along the Way Hostel, 741 Main St. in Damariscotta. Additionally, Healthy Living for ME will host a virtual wellness break focused on falls prevention at the Maine Council on Aging Wisdom Summit 2022 on Wednesday, September 21.
Factors that can put someone at risk for falls include balance and gait, and the presence of chronic conditions that lead to inactivity or pain. Throughout the year, the Healthy Living for ME Network offers free, low-cost, evidence-based workshops that can help adult Mainers of all ages prevent falls by addressing balance, flexibility, and levels of activity. These include A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi for Health and Balance, Bingocize and EnhanceFitness.
To learn more about these workshops, to register for one, or to make a recommendation, visit healthylivingforme.org, call 800-620-6036, or email [email protected].