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First day of fall time to take action to prevent falls

Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed the first day of fall, Sept. 23 this year, as Falls Prevention Awareness Day in Minnesota.

“In Minnesota, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and injuries requiring hospitalization or treatment, especially among older adults,” said Jean Wood, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging. “Many falls can be prevented and the goal of this day is to help people take action to avoid falls and injuries that result from them. While many older people can be at risk for falls, falls are not just a senior issue.”

To reduce your fall risk:

• Exercise regularly and find a good exercise program to build balance, strength and flexibility. • Ask a health care provider to assess your risk of falling. • Review medications with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure side effects are not increasing your risk of falling. • Get your vision and hearing checked; these senses are key to keeping you on your feet. • Keep your home safe by removing tripping hazards, increasing lighting, making stairs safe and installing grab bars in key areas. • Talk to family members to get their support in taking simple steps to stay safe.

Minnesota Area Agencies on Aging, which are partners with the Minnesota Board on Aging, are among organizations sponsoring health and safety promotion events in conjunction with Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

These include:

• Falls risk assessments, a professional panel discussion, refreshments and drawings from 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, at North Memorial Outpatient Center, 3435 W. Broadway Ave., Robbinsdale. Register at or call 763-581-2410 • Health education and free screenings for balance, blood pressure, cognition, diabetes, nutrition and weight from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, Sept. 26, at Church of St. Joseph, 12 W. Minnesota St., St. Joseph, and from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Sept. 30 at Discovery Church, 700 18th St. NW, Sauk Rapids. • Home and Safety Fair, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, at Whitney Senior Center, 1527 Northway Drive., St. Cloud.

More information on falls prevention, including a quick screening and ways to address certain risk factors, is available at or by calling the Senior Linkage Line at 1-800-333-2433

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