The Rockland County Department of Health is offering free fall-prevention class, A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls, and take charge of your life. Classes meet two hours a week for eight weeks. Six of the sessions include a segment devoted to mild to moderate exercises, which are designed to increase participants’ balance, strength and flexibility.
Reserve a spot in either of the following Matter of Balance classes by calling 845-364-2501:
- Tuesdays, September 9 to October 28, from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Orangeburg Library, 20 Greenbush Road in Orangeburg
- Tuesdays, September 9 to October 28, from 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. at the Nanuet Library, 149 Church Street in Nanuet
- Get up from a chair slowly; before moving forward, take a second to balance yourself, and count to ten before you take a step.
- Sit down to put your pants on.
- Wear sturdy, well-fitting shoes with low heels and non-slip soles.
- See an eye specialist once a year. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
- Review your medications annually with your doctor. Some medications have side effects that can cause dizziness.
- Increase physical activity – regular exercise increases balance and strength.
- Remove tripping hazards like throw rugs and clutter in walkways.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
- Have grab bars installed next to the toilet and in the tub or shower.
- Have handrails on both sides of stairways and improve lighting in the entire home.
- Ask for help if you need to reach items on high shelves or use a reacher (a device to help you), rather than stand on unsteady chairs or ladders. Keep items you use the most within reach.
- Ask your health care provider to do a fall risk assessment at your annual check-up. Medicare covers fall risk assessments and referrals (called STEADI – Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries) as part of your annual check-up.
The Dept. of Health advises to follow these simple tips to help prevent a fall: