FULTON - For seniors and older adults the results of falling can bring devastating consequences. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults. Falls are a threat to the safety and independence of older adults and generate substantial economic and personal costs.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
• One fourth of Americans aged 65 and older 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 are the leading cause of fatal injury and most common cause of nonfatal related hospital admissions among older adults.
• Falls result in more than 3 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 850,000 hospitalizations and more than 29,000 deaths.
• The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
As the population of Oswego County continues to age, falls are a serious and growing public health problem. To help address this problem the Rural Health Network of Oswego County will host a number of free risk assessment screenings throughout the county. Held in recognition of National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Sept. 20, the screenings, which will be facilitated by members of the Caring Community Advocate Committee, not only access the risk for falls but also offer information on lifestyle changes that could limit the possibilities of falls. The Caring Community Advocate Committee is a standing committee of the Rural Health Network of Oswego County dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the aging population in Oswego County.
“We will be conducting two evidence based tests, Timed Up and Go, and 30 Second Chair Stand test. Both these tests serve as reliable indicators for how vulnerable a person is to falling,” said RHN Coordinator Leanna Cleveland.
The Timed Up and Go test tracks the time that a person takes to stand up from a standard arm chair, walk 10 feet and return to the chair. The chair stand test counts how many times a person can stand up from a standard arm with their arms folded across their chest.
In addition to receiving assessments on each of these tests, participants will receive information on a variety of resources and programs that benefit older adults.
Fall prevention screenings will be held on Sept. 20 at the following times and locations.
• 10-11 a.m. – Central Square Village Pharmacy, 537 Main St.
• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. – Raby’s Ace Hardware, 247 Washington Blvd., Oswego.
• 9 a.m.-noon - Deaton Building and Home Supply Ace Hardware, 3970 Port State Route 13, Pulaski.
• 1-3 p.m. – Kinney Drugs, 3318 Main St., Mexico.
• 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Wayne’s Drugs, 24 W. First St., Oswego.
For more information on falls prevention contact Leanna Cleveland at the Rural Health Network, 315-592-0827 or visit www.rhnoc.org.
OCO is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 100 separate locations. For more information, visit www.oco.org.