Seniors Learn about Fall Prevention at JFSLA
September is National Fall Prevention Month. Falls are the leading cause of injury for adults ages 65 years and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four adults reports a fall every year.
Throughout the month of September, JFSLA’s Arts, Wellness, and Engagement (AWE) Program provided older adults with fall prevention awareness workshops in JFSLA’s Senior and Multipurpose Centers throughout LA. “It’s essential to raise awareness among the senior population,” said Kimiko Kelly, JFSLA AWE Program Director. “Preventing a fall can help active seniors continue to live independently.”
The workshops provided seniors with fall prevention education, a fitness class, and a free exercise band set. Leon Watts III, Fall Prevention Coordinator and Curator at the University of Southern California, discussed safety tips and steps to prevent falls, including the importance of strength and balance, eye and hearing testing, wellness checks, wearing sensible shoes and comfortable clothing, and fall-proofing homes by installing sturdy handrails. “Falls are the number one reason an older adult’s life dramatically changes negatively,” said Leon Wats III. “If educating older adults reduces that possibility, my gerontology work is done.”
“As research has shown, exercise is a key component for seniors to prevent fall injuries,” said Kimiko Kelly. “JFSLA’s senior centers provide seniors with daily exercise classes in person and online, and seniors have access to gyms at JFSLA’s Jona Goldrich Multipurpose Center and Valley Storefront Community Resource Center. We encourage seniors to take our exercise classes regularly and to come socialize with other seniors.” The AWE Program’s exercise classes include yoga and chair yoga, senior dance, chair Zumba, tai chi, stretching exercises, and the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, an evidence-based program with a series of classes focused on balance and strength.
“For those who don’t identify as seniors, it is still important to be aware of fall prevention to learn about how we can lessen the risk of falls for older adults, whether that is making sure the floor is not slippery or giving seniors more space as you walk near them,” said Kimiko. In addition, JFSLA has volunteer opportunities for certified instructors who are interested in hosting fitness, art, or educational classes for seniors. For more information about JFSLA’s Senior and Multipurpose Centers, visit jfsla.org/seniorcenters. For more information about volunteering, visit jfsla.org/volunteer.