Fall Prevention

by Guest Blogger – Jon Burkhow, Director of Senior Community Services’ HOME program

senior safety mnDid you know according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA) one-third of Americans aged 65+ falls each year?  What can you do to help prevent a senior loved one from falling?  With the annual Fall Prevention Awareness day, just around the corner on September 22, 2017, now is the time to take some simple steps to reduce the risk of falls for our Minnesota older adults.

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program. Many local community centers in Hennepin County offer classes specially designed for seniors.  Also consider a Matter of Balance class in your community.  Find more details including locations near you:  http://mnhealthyaging.org/en/FallsPrevention/MatterBalance.aspx
  2. Talk with your health care provider. It is important to tell your doctor or family members if you have fallen recently.  Certain medications can increase fall risk and your health care practitioner can review these and give you an overall assessment for fall risk based on your situation.
  3. Check your vision and hearing annually. Your eyes and ears are key to navigating your environment.
  4. Get a free safety assessment from the HOME program. Learn how we can help make safety improvements to your home, such as installing grab bars, improved lighting, new smoke alarms, reducing tripping hazards inside and outside the home, and more.

It’s human nature to procrastinate but we urge you to consider being proactive and reduce your fall risk.  Perhaps, you know someone who has suffered from a fall.  The recovery can be difficult and severe.  Falls can cause serious physical and psychological injury and are common during the Minnesota winter months.  In addition to the action items above consider a quick check of your physical environment.  Here are a few things to look for:

  1. Assure that you have adequate lighting on all stairways and going in and out of your home.
  2. Make sure that you have sufficient hand railings or grab bars in these locations and use them! Try to avoid carrying heavy loads when using these transition areas as your balance and line of sight can be impaired.
  3. Remove all objects from stairways.
  4. Remove loose rugs or put a non-slip backing under them. Make sure all pathways are clear of clutter.  You shouldn’t have to walk around things to navigate in your home.
  5. Make sure that you have a good pair of indoor shoes that have non-skid soles.

Do what you can to mitigate your fall risk.  Make today the day to take action and stay safe!  If you would like more information on the HOME program, visit our website: www.seniorcommunity.org. Contact us by email at home@seniorcommunity.org or by phone (952) 746-4046.

Jon Burkhow is the Director for the HOME program. The Senior Community Services HOME (Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly) program provides affordable home maintenance and chore services delivered by trusted professionals and community volunteers. The goal of the HOME program is to provide reasonably priced services to help adults aged 60 and older continue to live independently in their own homes.

Home Instead Minneapolis is proud to partner with and exclusively support Senior Community Services and specifically their HOME program, which applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of a $5,000 matching grant during the 2017 GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser.

GIVE65: 2017 Crowd-Fundraiser

GIVE65LogoJoin the crowd! The Home Instead Senior Care Foundation has created the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser exclusively devoted to help non-profit organizations raise money geared toward caring for seniors. GIVE65 is the first of its kind for Home Instead Senior Care with a goal to raise money online for programs and services related directly to helping seniors and creating hope for them. Home Instead is expecting it will be a catalyst for social change and we will continue to see fundraisers like this for seniors in the future.

The GIVE65 event is a 65-hour online charitable fundraising event aimed at inspiring greater giving to non-profit organizations serving seniors. In its second year, GIVE65 2017 will take place from July 11 – 13, 2017. During this time, a limited number of approved, participating organizations compete for up to $100,000 in matching grants and are also eligible for one of two $10,000 financial rewards which recognize outstanding small, medium and large-size non-profit participants. Wondering how you can join the crowd and help make a difference for seniors? Beginning July 1st, you can schedule your 100% tax deductible donation to be given to an approved non-profit of your choice during the fundraising event July 11 – 13, 2017. By scheduling the donation in advance, you ensure the organization of your choice will receive your donation during the event time period and it also may be eligible for matching grants and additional financial reward prizes.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to exclusively support Senior Community Services and specifically their Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) program, which applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of a $5,000 matching grant during the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser. The goal of the HOME program is to provide reasonably priced services to help seniors continue to live independently in their own homes. Their network of reliable workers and volunteers provide indoor and outdoor chore services to residents age 60 and older in a wide service area of communities in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

A majority of the HOME program clients are low-income. Assisting residents with home and yard chores such as home repairs, safety checks, raking, snow shoveling, and yard projects, will allow the seniors to stay in their own home and community longer. The money raised through the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser will help the Senior Community Services HOME program keep their services affordable, with a focus on staying safe in the winter months. Donated funds will be specifically used towards winter fall prevention and the incurred expenses during the Minnesota snow season.

Each year, one-third of Americans aged 65 or older fall. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. In 2000, the direct medical cost of fatal and non-fatal injuries totaled over $19 billion and $28.2 billion in 2010. This financial toll for older adult falls is only expected to increase as the population ages and is expected to reach as high as $54.9 billion by the year 2020. The HOME program will use the GIVE65 donated funds to help keep the driveways and sidewalks of over 300 seniors clear during the upcoming winter season. Ensuring fall prevention by removing the snow and ice will not only maintain safe access to and from the home, but will provide a great relief to the seniors in our Minnesota communities by providing the gift of security and independence this winter.

Jon Burkhow, HOME Program Director, says “Our snow removal program is a vital part of keeping older adults safe in their home and community. Please help us continue to prevent falls with your donation!” If you are interested in getting involved and being a GIVE65 donor or would like to learn more about Senior Community Services HOME program, you can find more details here: https://www.give65.org/SCSfallprevention

The Minneapolis area senior population needs our help and your donation to the Senior Community Services HOME program through the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser will help. Lori Hogan, Home Instead Senior Care Foundation Vice President says “The need is great. I think GIVE65 is a rallying cry for all of us – the public and private sectors – to come together and create hope for our seniors in need.” Home Instead Senior Care understands the challenges faced when raising money for social service programs that focus on seniors in need and believe they can lead the charge in charitable giving and inspire others to work together towards a common goal.

Programs like GIVE65 are important to our local communities as the senior population grows, non-profits need financial support to maintain the programs and services they provide that give hope for seniors. Every gift will make a difference, from the minimum donation of $10 to the larger donations. Those who want to help our local seniors, including businesses, corporations and other foundations, can visit GIVE65.org to invest in the growing Minnesota senior population. And don’t forget to save the date! Beginning July 1, 2017, you can schedule your GIVE65 event donation to ensure your donation will be given to the non-profit of your choice during the fundraising time period and be eligible for matching. Together we can make a difference in the lives of the seniors in our local communities!