Fall-prevention seminar scheduled at St. Patrick’s

By Sally Neel

Special to The PREVIEW

Did you know that falls are the No. 1 cause of injury and death among seniors? Did you know that, across the nation, every 14 seconds, a senior is treated in an emergency room for a fall? Did you know that, in 2012, the total cost for falls injuries was $36 billion and is expected to rise to up to $59.6 billion by 2020 with aging baby boomers?

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related admissions among older adults. As a result, fear of falling can adversely affect the lifestyle of seniors. Out of fear and caution, seniors tend to become more sedentary and risk-averse, causing loss of muscle tone, which only contributes to the problem; all this during a time of life when seniors should be enjoying retirement. Falls are not inevitable, however. With careful prevention, seniors can enjoy a full, active and healthy life.

On Saturdays, Feb. 21 and 28, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Jeff Westmoreland, a physical therapist and falls prevention expert currently practicing at Rocky Mountain Physical Therapy, will present informative and practical sessions to help educate the public on falls prevention.

The sessions will take place at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. (next door to the hospital) in the church parish hall.

The sessions will cover a wealth of information to help free seniors from the anxiety and fear of falling and enjoy more full and active lives.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With statistics such as ones mentioned earlier in this article, two sessions with Westmoreland can help save us from a pound of hospital bills and health deterioration later on.

The sessions are free and open to the public.

Give yourself the freedom to enjoy your senior years and join these informative and perhaps life-saving seminars.