Fall Prevention Awareness Day lecture to be held at SCV Senior Center

The SCV Senior Center Dan Watson/Signal

The SCV Senior Center will be offering a fall-prevention health and wellness lecture Wednesday on Fall Prevention Awareness Day, officials said.

Presented at the Senior Center by physical therapist Gabe Perez of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, the lecture will help address how to make homes safe while also labeling precautions to avoid falling, said Robin Clough, volunteer and recreation coordinator with the Senior Center. The presentation begins at 1 p.m.

Additionally, the lecture will provide information on the economic consequences that come from a fall, along with risk, health and environmental factors that might lead to a fall, Perez said Friday.

“After a certain age, around 70, falls are the most common reason for hospital visits,” he said.

There are three systems in the human body which keep a person balanced as the walk, which are vision, touch and the inner ear, Perez said. Anything that affects multiple senses can really make a change to a person’s balance, he said.

While he gives quarterly fall prevention classes at Henry Mayo, Perez said the Senior Center approached him to give a modified class to offer seniors. The center itself also works on promoting classes to help prevent falls, including tai chi, Clough said, a practice which Perez said is effective.

Designated by the National Council on Aging, falls are a leading cause of fatal injury while also the most common cause of nonfatal hospital admissions among older adults, according to a release issued last Wednesday from the Senior Helpers of San Fernando Valley.

“Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall,” the release noted.

The release also provided steps from the National Council on Aging to keep in mind when reducing the chances of a fall:

  • enroll in a good balance and exercise program to build balance, strength, and flexibility.
  • ask your health care professional for an assessment of your risk for falling.
  • review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Side effects can increase fall risk.
  • have annual hearing and vision checkups, and keep eyeglass prescriptions up-to-date.
  • keep your home safe: remove trip hazards, increase lighting levels, install handrails on stairs and grab bars in bathrooms.
  • make fall prevention a family affair. Younger family members are at risk, too.

Syd Rogers, in-home senior services professional with Senior Helpers of San Fernando Valley, also points to other red flags that might lead to a fall, including shoe size and pets, in the release.

“Pets can be wonderful companions, but they can also get underfoot, causing a fall,” he said. “It’s tempting to reach for a towel rack or sink edge for support, but properly installed railings and grab bars are the safer option. And dementia, because it increases the risk of wandering, also increases the risk of falling.”

For more information on fall prevention and other caregiving services, call Syd Rogers at (818) 368-6313 or [email protected] or visit the support services page from the SCV Senior Center website at myscvcoa.org/support-services/.

The presentation is open to the public.

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