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VPAS hosts week of fall prevention workshops

September is Falls Prevention Month, and the Valley Program of Aging Services has put together a week of workshops to help keep you safely on your feet.
September is Falls Prevention month.
September is Falls Prevention month.(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 4:21 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — September is Falls Prevention Month, and the Valley Program of Aging Services has put together a week of workshops to help keep you safely on your feet.

“A lot of people are afraid of falling because they think it is just a natural part of aging, and falling is not just a given when we get older. There are things you can do,” Joyce Nussbaum, the Community Wellness Coordinator at VPAS, said.

Nussbaum said the fear of falling itself is the leading predictor that someone will fall. Together with the Virginia Arthritis and Falls Prevention Coalition, VPAS has scheduled a week of virtual awareness workshops. One of the workshops teams up with Aging in Place certified architect with Gains Group Architects, Charles Hendricks.

“Falls in the home are a devastating thing for a family to have to face, and making sure that your home is a place you can live for a lifetime is very important for people,” Hendricks said.

According to Hendricks, things like carpet, area rugs, as well as stairs and parts of the bathroom are all common fall hazards, but there are tools to help.

“If you need help walking in to stabilize yourself as you’re stepping over the tub, this can be on the wall right by the edge,” Hendricks said, describing an adjustable suction shower wall handle. He shared that technology can also be helpful in fall situations. Whether yelling to a device like an Alexa, notifying someone though a watch or Fitbit, or just having a medical alert pendant or bracelet. It could save a life.

Nussbaum says one of the most important parts of the workshops, is finding out why it is important to you, not to fall.

“Is it your grandchildren? Is it your independence? What is it that drives you?” Nussbaum asked. “Use that as motivation to take that next step and do something toward fall prevention.”

The workshops are all virtual and free to anyone in Virginia. They will take place on Sept. 21 through Sept. 25. More information and registration can be found on the VPAS website: www.vpas.info/events.

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