Health Department Offers Free Fall-Prevention Programs this Spring

April is Injury Prevention Month

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Pomona, NY – Falls are the leading cause of injury among New Yorkers over 65. The good news is they can be prevented! April is Injury Prevention Month, and the Rockland County Department of Health urges all County residents 65 and older to take steps to prevent falls.

“Every day in Rockland County, about five older adults visit the Emergency Room for treatment of a fall-related injury. Two out of five are hurt badly enough and need to stay in the hospital, often because the fall caused a hip fracture or brain injury. Such injuries lead to a loss of independence,” said Kathleen M. Henry, R.N., M.A, Acting Commissioner of Health.

To help prevent falls, County residents are encouraged to take advantage of the Health Department’s free fall-prevention program for older adults, “A Matter of Balance.” Participants learn to develop their confidence, set realistic goals to increase activity, make changes in their homes to reduce the risk of falls, and exercise to increase strength and balance. Spring classes are offered at the following times and places:

· JCC, 450 West Nyack Rd, West Nyack, on Mondays, 1 – 3 p.m.
Dates: April 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, June 3, 10
· Seton Village, 148 Convent Rd, Nanuet, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Dates: June 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27
· Suffern Free Library, 210 Lafayette Ave, Suffern, on Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Dates: May 22, 24, 29, 31, June 12, 14, 19, 21 (no class on June 5 & 7)

Class registration is required. If you are not available to take one of these classes you can be placed on our mailing list. For more information or to register for classes, call the Health Department at 845-364-2501. Remember, falls are not accidents and can be prevented! Here are some ways to prevent a fall: exercise; get regular vision and hearing checkups; stay indoors when sidewalks and roads are icy; have your medications reviewed by your doctors (people taking more than four medications may be affected by drug side effects and drug interactions which can lead to falls); remove clutter from walkways and stairs; install railings on stairs and grab bars in bathrooms; and improve the lighting in your home.

For more information on fall prevention, talk with your doctor or call the New York State Department of Health, Injury Prevention Program at 518-473-1143 or e-mail injury@health.state.ny.us, or visit www.health.ny.gov/prevention/injury_prevention/ and www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/preventadultfalls.htm.