The Star-Herald

Agency on Aging launches series to mark Falls Prevention Week

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of things. One thing that’s still the same is that falling down is not a normal part of aging. 

Aroostook Agency on Aging (AAA) is committed to helping all older adults to reduce their risk of accidental falls, which are one of the greatest causes of serious injuries and death among people over age 65. Later this month, the agency is partnering with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to recognize Falls Prevention Awareness Week, Sept. 21-25. 

As part of this national campaign, AAA is holding several “virtual” lunchtime events to raise awareness among older adults in northern Maine. The series will kick off at noon on Monday, Sept. 21, with a webinar on fall prevention awareness activities. In addition, a free online falls risk assessment tool has been developed to screen participants for the most common falls risk factors. 

Persons interested in attending the webinar are asked to call the agency at 764-3396 to pre-register and obtain a link to the online presentation. 

“Remaining safe and healthy at home is a goal for all. A fear of falling is something that can be on the minds of older people. Engaging in moderate exercise, for example, helps improve your balance and coordination,” said Judy Anderson, AAA’s director of Community and Volunteer Services. 

Falls Prevention Awareness Week, she explained, is meant to highlight ways to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels for older adults. 

The other Falls Prevention Awareness Week lunchtime events will be posted on the AAA Facebook page and website. They include: 

Tuesday, Sept. 22 — a pre-recorded presentation on improving balance by Chris Rolon and Matt Papsadora of the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s physical therapy program. 

Wednesday, Sept. 23 — a pre-recorded informational session on Tai Chi with certified instructor Marge Yeager of Blaine. 

Thursday, Sept. 24 — a pre-recorded video presentation on ongoing falls prevention efforts including testimonials from current and past program participants.

“Our agency has a strong history of helping older residents in Aroostook County,” said Anderson. “We’re proud to be part of this national education and outreach initiative that is helping millions of older adults age well and stay falls free. We encourage people to attend our virtual events and access our free assessment tool.” 

For more information, please contact the Aroostook Agency on Aging at 764-3396 or visit aroostookaging.org.

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