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Celebrating National Senior Center Month and Falls Prevention Awareness Week September 20-24, 2021

Celebrating National Senior Center Month and Falls Prevention Awareness Week September 20-24, 2021

When it comes to celebrating older adults, many of us who work in the field of aging go immediately to May, which is “Older American’s Month.” During this month, we honor the contributions older adults make to our communities and the passing of the Older American’s Act in 1965.

During September, we celebrate National Senior Center Month and Falls Prevention Awareness Week.

The first senior center was introduced in New York City in 1943. The purpose was to provide older adults with limited income access to social activities, meals, and case management services.

Today’s senior centers continue to provide core services and offer resources that address health, wellness, caregiving, finances, employment, and volunteer opportunities. They are vibrant and active, boasting cafes, computer labs, gardening, cooking, technology, and lifelong learning opportunities.

During the pandemic, many had to transform into virtual classrooms. Others helped with the delivery of meals to the homebound and set up drive-up food pantries. They provided information and education on the importance of vaccines, especially for older adults. The pandemic also brought to the forefront something many who work in senior centers already knew and addressed: social isolation. It affects many older adults, and now mainstream has noticed the significant impact social isolation has on physical and mental health.

Many senior centers are the focal point for the community’s falls prevention initiatives which brings us to Falls Prevention Awareness Week (September 20-24).

Unfortunately, falls are a serious public health issue, and we all need to do our part to help spread the word.

Falls are the leading cause of injury and injury death in adults age 65+. One out of every five falls causes a serious injury, and in 2019 the cost of falls to the U.S. Healthcare System was 50 billion dollars. Additionally, many people who fall, even if they are not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear can lead to inactivity, weakness, and in turn, can increase the risk of falling.
Check out these great resources about falls prevention from the National Council on Aging:
© Debunking the Myths about Older Adult Falls
© Six Steps to Prevent a Fall
© UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County Falls Prevention Webinar September 22, 2021 from 3-4 pm.
© NCOA’s Falls Free CheckUp-12 questions to assess your risk of falling and you get a personalized report to share with your health care provider.

 


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