Steady yourself: SAAA offers classes in preventing falls

STEPHENS CITY — Each year, 25 percent of Americans over age 65 take a tumble. Sometimes these falls cause injuries so severe that the victim ends up in the emergency room.

The Senior Center in the Stephens City United Methodist Church was the first SAAA site to offer the class.

But researchers have found that many falls are preventable.

Preventing falls requires developing the right mental attitude, changing the environment to minimize falls and exercising to strengthen the body.

To help seniors feel more secure about their ability to avoid falls, the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging is offering “A Matter of Balance,” a series of eight classes. The classes cover such topics as identifying the exercises best suited to fall prevention, recognizing hazards and learning three important physical risk factors for falls: low blood pressure, leg weakness and poor flexibility.

During the class, participants learn to view falls and the fear of falling as controllable and set realistic goals for increasing activity.

See Winchester Star.