Program Aimed At Preventing Older Adults From Falling Expands

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Monday, October 12, 2015 - 5:05am
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More than 2,000 Arizonans have taken part in the Fall Prevention Outreach Program since 2008, and now the program is expanding from 30 locations to 50.

Injuries from falls are the leading cause of death among Arizonans over the age of 65, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. The program consists of an 8-week course funded by  A.T. Still University and BHHS Legacy Foundation of Phoenix and is offered at community and senior centers around the state. 

 “When a person falls, especially older adults, even if they’re not injured, they may become afraid to fall in the future and as a result they may begin to restrict their activities,” said Elton Bordenave, director of the Mesa campus aging studies project. “Well, when they restrict their activity and are less active, they become weaker and actually increase their chances of falling."

The free class covers the basics, like keeping hallways clear and well lit, but also advises older adults to be engaged in their medical history and treatment. Bloodstream, urinary and respiratory infections increase the risk of accidental falls in older adults, and the program encourages older adults to ask their doctors if any medications affect balance or blood flow.

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