This Week's Spotlight: Helen Hayes Hospital

Helen Hayes Hospital offers Fall Prevention seminar


Where: Helen Hayes Hospital
What: Falls Prevention Seminar
When: September 21, 2012, 9:15am-11:30am

As Labor day marks the unofficial end of summer, the change of season can be felt by the cooler mornings and earlier sunsets.  Fall is in the air and just around the corner. Helen Hayes Hospital staffers in the Osteoporosis department are preparing for the second annual Falls Prevention Seminar which coincides with the first day of fall.

"Falls can be more common in the winter months due to falls on ice, however, the reason for the seminar at this time of year is that the first day of fall has been nationally noted as a time for fall awareness," according to Jeri Nieves, PhD., Director of Bone Density Testing at the hospital.

Helen Hayes will be hosting their seminar on Sept. 21, the day before autumn begins. The seminar is open to the public and they will have expert speakers on hand to address the different preventive techniques, behaviors as well as the risk factors associated with falls.

According to Jeri Nieves, PhD. there are some real concerns about how a fall can impact a persons life:

  • Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits among adults 65 and older. 
  • Each year in New York State, an average of 900 residents aged 65 years and older die from injuries sustained from falls and more than 132,000 are treated at hospitals due to falls. 
  • Falls can result in lasting, serious consequences, affecting mobility, independence, and mental health. 
  • One in ten falls in older adults end in serious injury such as a broken bone.

"If we can prevent falls, we can prevent broken bones. Fortunately, older adults can be empowered to reduce the risk of falling by taking small, proactive steps such as getting annual eye exams, participating in safe physical activity to improve strength and balance, reviewing their medications with their doctor, and making their homes safe," said Nieves. "Small steps can make a big difference in the prevention of falls and fall-related injuries. The educational program we have planned will help people understand the steps they can take to prevent falls."

Last year the hospital and staff hosted about 80 people who came to hear the speakers. This year they expect to get about 100 people.

Older adults are at most risk for severe and long term injury when they fall. There is preventative measures that are readily available to help build stronger healthier bones to offset this increased risk.

Helen Hayes Hospital is a facility which was founded over a century ago to provide rehabilitation medicine to a wide array of patients. The state run facility offers in-patient, out-patient and specialized services to it's patients. The hospital provides treatment to patients as well as offering seminars and  support groups to the community. The hospital's calendar on its website provides dates and times of such meetings.

If you are an older adult or have an older adult in your care and would like more information or to attend the seminar contact the Helen Hayes New York State Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program (NYSOPEP) Office at (845) 786-4771, by Sept. 17.


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