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Senior Concerns Committee receives fall prevention grant

WORTHINGTON -- The Nobles County Senior Concerns Committee was awarded a $2,000 grant earlier this summer to focus on programming for falls prevention.

In addition to conducting surveys of seniors throughout the county and planning a forum at some point in the future, the committee will be on hand at the Nobles County Fair this week with information about preventing falls. Its booth will be located in the commercial building on the fairgrounds in Worthington.

Falls are common among older adults and often lead to loss of independence or even death. More than one-third of individuals 65 and older fall each year, with 10 percent of those falls resulting in serious injury.

Most falls are associated with one or more risk factors -- muscle weakness, gait and balance problems, vision, medications and environmental hazards. Research has show that attention to these risk factors can significantly reduce fall rates.

Nobles County was one of 10 applicants in Minnesota to be awarded a grant to address falls prevention. The grant was awarded through the Minnesota Falls Prevention Initiative (MFPI), a statewide initiative promoting independence and quality of life among older adults by reducing falls and fall-related injuries. The initiative has funds available for community-based organizations to address falls among older adults and keep Minnesotans right side up.

To help reduce the risk of falling, MFPI offers the following tips:

  • Be active and exercise regularly to improve strength, balance and coordination. Ask your doctor or health care provider about the best type of exercise program for you.
  • Review your medications with your doctor or health care provider at each visit.
  • Get an annual physical and follow the recommendations given by your doctor or health care provider.
  • Have your vision tested regularly.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with adequate calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Avoid getting up too quickly from lying down or sitting. Your blood pressure takes time to adjust when you sit up. Remain seated for a few minutes before standing.

This information and more will be available at the informational booth at the Nobles County Fair, beginning today through Sunday.