Program aims to limit fall risks for the elderly
By Brian Stanley email@example.com March 20, 2013 7:12PM
Updated: April 22, 2013 12:28PM
NEW LENOX — Seniors can learn to reduce the risk of falling during a program being offered on Mondays this spring.
“A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls” is being offered free to New Lenox Township residents at the police department, 701 W. Haven Ave. The two-hour program will be offered at 9:30 a.m. from April 22 to June 17, excluding Memorial Day.
Public Safety Division Chief Dan Martin said participants will learn to make adjustments to their living environments to reduce risk factors, learn simple exercises to increase strength and balance and set realistic goals to increase their level of activity.
“People who develop a fear (of falling) often limit their activities, which can result in severe physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater,” Martin said.
Martin hopes being aware of the risks and knowing where to “put the slip strips” will allow seniors to remain independent longer.
Will County Coroner Patrick K. O’Neil said accidental falls are one of the top causes of unnatural deaths for seniors. Preliminary autopsies show three seniors appear to have died from falls in the last two weeks.
On March 12, a 97-year-old Plainfield woman died from fall-related injuries, as did a 64-year-old Orland Park man Saturday and an 82-year-old Joliet woman Sunday.
Also the death of a 66-year-old Lemont woman Monday was first reported as a fall but turned out to be the result of medical issues, O’Neil said.
O’Neil and Martin both said hip fractures frequently become life-threatening for the elderly.
“Other times a lot of seniors are on anti-coagulants (blood thinners) for medical treatment. They’ll have brain bleeding from striking their head when they fell, but won’t show any symptoms until it’s too late,” O’Neil said.
To register or for additional information, call Martin at (815) 462-6100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.