SSM Health, YMCA team up for special fall prevention event

September is Fall Prevention Month.
Two Janesville organizations are teaming up to educate those 65 and older on fall prevention awareness.
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 5:08 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -SSM Health and the YMCA of Northern Rock County are teaming up to host a fall prevention open house this week.

Wisconsin leads the nation in falls as the leading cause of injury and death among the senior population, according to the CDC.

This open house, which is free for Y members and the general public, will offer opportunities to learn more about balance exercises, home safety, social isolation, and much more.

“It’s very important to keep active as we age, and not only for the physical aspects we get and the benefits from exercising, but it’s good for the mental health as well,” said Rene Koepp, YMCA of Norther Rock County health and wellness coordinator. “Once you stop exercising it’s amazing how fast you can get sedentary and lose a lot of your muscle tone and strength, which affects balance.”

Education will also be shared about the importance of vision screening, and how medications may increase fall risk.

The goal is to reduce falls and help participants live as safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Topics included in the free event will include the following:

  • Identifying and removing fall hazards inside and outside the home
  • Learning how vision, hearing, medication, and footwear impact fall risk
  • Practicing personalized strength and balance exercises
  • Knowing how to properly get back up after a fall

“Sixty percent of our falls happen at home so we have a home checklist a person can go through, and kind of check off, ‘do I have those loose throw rugs? Do I have cords? Do I have pets? Do I have lit halways?’” Wendy Bianchetti points out, a community health worker with SSM Health.

Seniors may receive a free SSM Health Fall Prevention kit, while supplies last. The kits will include non-slip socks, a night light, a hot/cold pack, and a pill box.

Community members are welcome to join SSM Health and YMCA teams any time from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, at the YMCA located at 221 Dodge Street.

For more information on how to stay injury free and independent, check out the CDC’s My Mobility Plan. CDC Foundation and CDC also have many other free resources available that can help you be healthy, active and injury free.

The Y in Janesville offers a number of class geared towards active, aging seniors including aqua Zumba, aqua tone, low-impact strength training and chair yoga.

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