Fall prevention awareness via TV is part of ‘Aging Wisely’ series

September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month. In recognition of this month of activities and reminders to avoid the dangers of falling, the Pierce County Fall Prevention Coalition and Pierce County Human Services have produced a local television program. It will air on Pierce County TV as part of the popular “Aging Wisely” series that has been widely recognized for the quality of its focus on issues important to the senior population of Pierce County.

Falls are a major issue of concern to seniors, since falling poses a threat to the health, safety, and independence of people 60 and older.

Each year in the United States, nearly one-third of older adults experience a fall. About one out of 10 falls among older adults result in serious injury, such as a hip fracture or head injury that requires hospitalization. In addition to the physical and emotional pain caused by falling, many people need at least a year to recover in a long-term care facility. Some may never return to their homes at all due to the severity of injuries sustained during a fall.

The Fall Prevention television program will look at strategies to reduce the risk of falling and avoid getting hurt. One strategy is to maintain physical fitness for older adults, emphasizing movement and exercises that improve core strength, stamina, and balance. Featured in the program will be the exercise activity known as Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL), which is frequently offered at senior centers. Be sure to first consult with your doctor before embarking on a new exercise program and to review with your doctor your current medications to improve your balance and stability.

The television program will also feature emergency first-responders, including local firefighters and home safety experts who will review things that viewers can do to prevent a fall in their homes. In addition, the program will follow a home remodeling contractor as he visits a home and recommends easy fixes to improve safety. Plus, emergency medical experts will review the most common injuries from dangerous falls, and how those injuries impact ability to live independently.

Starting on Sept. 22, the 30-minute program will air on local channels, including Pierce County TV, as part of the “Aging Wisely” series. “Aging Wisely” will air on Pierce County TV on Tuesdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The program will also be featured on the Pierce County TV You Tube channel.  Professional experts will provide a wide variety of information to educate seniors on how to avoid dangerous falls. Locally known TV news anchor Dennis Bounds will serve as the host.

Pierce County TV can be found on Comcast channel 20, Click channel 22/522, and Rainier Connect channel 20/513.

More information will also be available starting Sept. 22 on the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources website at www.pierceadrc.org. On the website calendar, click on Sept. 22 for more detailed information.


Matthew Santelli, who wrote this article, is a community outreach and education specialist for Pierce County Human Services.