Falls are the leading cause of moderate and serious injuries for older adults in the Garden State. In fact, every eight minutes, a person over 60 is treated in an emergency room because of a fall. Governor Christie has issued a proclamation designating September 17-24 Falls Prevention Week in New Jersey,
“Sometimes falls result from lack of leg strength, the use of four or more medications, reduced vision, chronic health problems and cluttered home conditions”, said Lowell Arye, a Deputy Commissioner with DHS, who oversees the Division of Aging Services. “These core fundamentals have an impact on seniors' quality of life, in many cases keeping them from healthy, active and independent lives."
Senior centers, hospitals, non-profit and faith-based groups throughout the state offer medication reviews, blood pressure, heart rate, nutrition and vision screenings. In addition, there are free or low-cost activities such as chair yoga, line dancing, and other low-impact exercises that can greatly reduce the risk of falls.
“Falls are not an inevitable consequence of aging, and injuries from falls are largely a preventable community health problem,” said Kathleen Mason, Director of DHS’ Division of Aging Services. “It’s important for seniors and their families to be aware of the hazards and take action to prevent them.”
More than $1 billion is spent annually in New Jersey’s emergency rooms to treat injuries resulting from seniors’ falling, and fall-related inpatient stays average about $65,000. But the real cost of these accidents can’t be measured in money. Falling and the fear of falling can lead to depression and hopelessness, loss of mobility and loss of functional independence for seniors.
The Division of Aging Services has fostered partnerships across the aging and disabilities services network to offer fall prevention programs, including Project Healthy Bones and A Matter of Balance, throughout the State of New Jersey.
For more information on how to participate in programs that can help seniors prevent falls, visit http://www.nj.gov/health/senior/fallsfree.
A listing of events for Fall Prevention Awareness Week can be found below:
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 2012
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
M&M Physical Therapy, LLC
23659 Columbus Road, Suite 3
Columbus, NJ 08022
M&M Physical Therapy, LLC will be hosting a Fall Prevention Health Fair featuring a discussion on Balance and Fall Prevention. Stations will include: Blood pressure, heart rate and pulse ox. screening; balance and gait screenings; medication review; assistive device check and education; home assessment discussions; and eyewear cleaning. Chip Soutner, BOCO, of M&M Orthotics will be on hand to assess orthotic devices and make recommendations. No registration is necessary. Over 75 people are expected to attend. Please call 609.324.1200 for more information or directions.
9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
CamCare Health Corporation
817 Federal Street
Camden, NJ 08103
Senior Fall Prevention Day sponsored by CamCare and Safer Steps of Cooper University Hospital. The Health Fair will have over 10 vendors, including free balance testing, blood pressure screening, glucose screening, medication review, podiatry screening and vision screening. Learn more about “Safer Steps”, an innovative fall prevention program for Camden seniors that provides home safety assessments, community educational programs and home safety improvements through a partnership with St. Joseph’s Carpenter society. Light refreshments will be provided. No registration required.
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Princeton HealthCare System Community Education & Outreach
Hamilton Area YMCA, John K. Rafferty Branch
1315 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road
Suite 100, Conference Rooms A & B
Hamilton, NJ 08619
Step Lively! Falls Prevention. Join us for a fun-filled day of workshops, screenings and demonstrations focusing on your risk for falls and how to improve your balance including posture and balance assessments, chair yoga, line dancing and more. Presenters will include: Linda Lucuski, MPT, Certified MDT and Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist, and Rehabilitation Coordinator with University Medical Center at Princeton’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Network; Daphne Berei, RN, BSN, RN-C, Nurse Manager, UMCP’s Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit; and Marlene Tarshish, PT, LNHA, Rehabilitation Manager, Diversified Services, Princeton HomeCare Services. Enjoy refreshments, door prizes and more. Call 1.888.897.8979 for registration and/or information.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2012
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Fox EDU Center
7 Carnegie Plaza
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
"Take Steps To Be Fall Free". Screenings, evaluations, and educational seminars will be provided on: strength, mobility, balance, home safety, hearing, vision, blood pressure/pulse ox, glucose, medication review, exercise class, Tai Chi demos, assistive device assessments, pain management and more. Free lunch will be provided as well as giveaways and door prizes. Over 150 older adults are expected to attend. Call 1.877.407.3422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration and/or information.
10 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Middlesex County Office on Aging & Disabled Services
Roosevelt Park, 1 Pine Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
To celebrate Active Aging & Fall Prevention Week, the Middlesex County Office of Aging & Disabled Services is sponsoring a Senior Health & Fitness Walk. All Middlesex County seniors are invited to participate in this special county-wide event. Emphasis will be placed on falls prevention during the pre-walk ceremony. Participating seniors will receive a T-shirt, a baseball cap, giveaways and a boxed lunch; DJ Anthony will be providing entertainment. Health Screenings will be done prior to the walk and a raffle will take place as the event draws to an end. Speakers include the Middlesex County Freeholders and the Director of the Middlesex County Office of Aging & Disabled Services. Over 450 people are expected to attend. Walkers must register with their local senior centers or the county office at 732.745.3295 by September 5th.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 20, 2012
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Old Lafayette Village
Lafayette, NJ 07848
Fall Prevention Awareness Week event featuring a presentation of the HealthEASE Program, “Standing Tall Against Falls”. Speakers include the HealthEASE Educators from the Sussex County Division of Senior Services, along with state and local dignitaries. An overview of the “A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls” program will be provided. Over 100 professionals, providers, and older adults are expected to attend and enjoy a breakfast buffet.
Call 973.579.0555 to register.
9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
290 Broad Street
Summit, NJ 07091
Fall Prevention: Your Key to Independence Don´t let your independence slip away! Falls are the leading cause of accident-related deaths for seniors. The good news is that many falls can be prevented. Come learn how you can modify your home and lifestyle to reduce your chances of falls. Screenings will include nutrition, blood pressure, balance assessments, and medication reviews. We will also have a comprehensive display of home assistive and safety devices. In addition, join us for a Tai Chi demonstration. Call 908.598.5548 for registration and/or more information. Refreshments served.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2012
9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Mercer County
RWJ Hamilton Center for Health & Wellness
3100 Quakerbridge Rd.
Mercerville, NJ 08619
Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among older adults. Join Pamela Basehore, Ed.D, MPH and Stephanie Pelullo, MPA of the NJ Institute for Successful Aging at UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Medicine for an informative lecture on how to prevent this potentially serious situation. In addition to balance and blood pressure screenings and exercise classes, the grand prize raffle is a day trip from Starr Tours. A continental breakfast is provided. The program is free, registration is required. Call 609.584.5900 to register.
**All information provided by event sponsors.