Have you watched one of our “Fall-Free Fridays” episodes yet? Not sure what that means!? Fall-Free Fridays is a partnership between the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) and the Shawnee State University (SSU) Occupational Therapy Program.
Each Friday at 10:00 am, a special educational broadcast is featured on the AAA7 Facebook page about a different falls-related topic presented by two SSU Occupational Therapy graduate students.
The concept was developed to help students with a way to earn their classroom requirement of community education. Before the pandemic, this would take place in person through our Matter of Balance falls management program. Keeping social distancing and health protocols in mind, this virtual format was created to replace the in-person education this year. A designated page on our website features items from each week including a recording of the broadcast, student-developed handouts to complement the topic, a Fall-Free Fact, and summary article.
We have often heard that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and this pandemic has provided ample opportunity to find new ways to continue to provide services and information to older adults, persons with disabilities, and those who care for them. We are extremely grateful that the Occupational Therapy Program at Shawnee State University has joined us in developing and carrying out innovative ways to reach individuals in the community with critical guidance on falls and their prevention. Innovation is key and we value our ongoing partnership with SSU.
In addition, Falls Prevention Coaching is also being offered by SSU occupational therapy students. This consists of free coaching over the phone or through a virtual format to learn more about your fall risks and helpful prevention tips. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call Hannah at the AAA7 at 1-800-582-7277, extension 247.
According to the National Council on Aging, falls remain a leading cause of injury for people aged 65 and older. Falls threaten older adults’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. The good news is that they are preventable and there are proven steps people can take to reduce their risk.
Fall-Free Fridays is taking place on Fridays at 10:00 am now through December 4th. If you have questions about how to access the virtual education or recording, or for more information about falls prevention, contact the AAA7 at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nina R. Keller is executive director, Area Agency on Aging District 7.