Each year, more than 2.5 million older Americans are injured in falls, and medical costs from those injuries exceed $30 billion annually.
Then there is the toll a broken hip, for example, can take on a victim’s overall quality of life.
But a program called Building Better Balance is seeking to prevent falls, including free screenings being scheduled in Mount Airy, today and on May 26, in the conference room of the Surry Senior Center at 215 Jones School Road.
The Building Better Balance screenings will be offered from 2 to 4 p.m. both days on a walk-in-only basis, with no appointment necessary. The service is being provided at no charge by the senior center in partnership with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council Area Agency on Aging.
Such screenings allow participants to learn more about their state of balance, organizers say.
The screening takes about 10 to 15 minutes on average and includes a few questions and the completion of one balance activity.
Each older adult participating receives a basic profile of their fall risk (identifying an individual as being at “increased” or “lower” risk levels) and then is provided with information on connecting with health-care and community resources for addressing that risk.
Those resources are aimed at building or continuing to build better balance and reducing the likelihood of a fall.
Other goals of the Building Better Balance program include:
• Increasing awareness among older adults and care providers of the problem of falls and fall prevention;
• Encouraging meaningful discussion of fall risk between older adults and their primary care providers;
• Extending the reach and sustainability of fall risk screening using a standardized, evidence-based process.