Minneapolis, MN - The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, will recognize National Falls Prevention Awareness Day September 22 and Active Aging Week September 23 – 29.

Each year, it’s estimated that one out of three Americans aged 65 or older will suffer a fall, leaving many of these adults with a fear of falling that can cause them to limit physical activities. This leads to reduced mobility and diminished quality of life, and actually increases their risk of falling. With a focus on healthy aging, the Y is committed to helping seniors access programs that can help them build strength in spirit, mind and body.

The first step to prevention is understanding risk. Seniors can assess their fall risk by taking a simple test at available at their local YMCA. Through this assessment, individuals can learn how routine activities and other factors help determine their risk for falls.

The CDC suggests these basic lifestyle and safety changes to help reduce risk or prevent falls:

  • Begin an exercise program to improve your leg strength & balance.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines.
  • Get annual eye check-ups & update your eyeglasses.
  • Make your home safer by:
    • Removing clutter & tripping hazards.
    • Putting railings on all stairs & adding grab bars in the bathroom.
    • Installing proper lighting, especially on stairs.

“The YMCA is dedicated to empowering seniors in our community to improve their health in a safe way,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the Y. “Falls are preventable, but many older adults and their families don’t know how to safely get active; the good news is that organizations like the Y can help.”

In addition to Fall Prevention, the Y’s Active Aging Week will feature activities around mindfulness, wellness and more. To learn more about the Y’s programs for seniors, please visit www.ymcamn.org/health__fitness/foreverwell 

About the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 163 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across 12 counties of the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 28 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcamn.org.