No, we can’t change the calendar, but on the first day of autumn (Wednesday, September 23) you can help raise fall prevention awareness. The Ohio Department of Aging is encouraging people to walk at least a mile tomorrow (or anytime in September) and post a selfie. Information about how to find groups walking and other details can be found at http://aging.ohio.gov/steadyu/.
There was also a good article about this in today’s Columbus Dispatch in the Metro Section, “Fall draws attention to risks of falling.” This paragraph got my attention: “An older Ohioan falls every two minutes, resulting in an injury every 5 minutes, 6 ER visits and one hospitalization an hour and 3 deaths every day.” What to do? First, don’t let fear of falling limit your activity. That actually leads to decreased mobility and increased likelihood of falling. 15-30 minutes of physical activity per day is the best to improve strength and balance and reduce the risk of falling.
Check with your local YMCA and other Silver Sneaker programs for balance and fitness classes. And check out the Steady U website listed above for more suggestions on how to prevent falls this fall.
I know this is a bit different topic than I usually write about, but I have a couple of personal interests in this. I am dealing with balance issues caused by peripheral neuropathy for one, and I have another birthday on the horizon which makes issues of aging more relevant every year. Also my wife, Diana, is a fitness coach and is encouraging her clients to walk tomorrow also. Just for fun, go to her Active Healthy Lifestyles page on Facebook and post a picture letting us know that you walked to help raise awareness. It’ll do us all good.