Dover, Ohio - Saturday, September 22, is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, and the Tuscarawas County YMCA is teaming up with the National Council on Aging and the Falls Free Coalition to help community members protect themselves and their loved ones from fall-related injuries.

Falls are the leading cause of death and injury in adults ages 65 and older, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is estimated that one out of four Americans aged 65 or older will suffer a fall this year, and one in every five falls causes a serious injury, such as a head trauma, or a fracture.

A fear of falling may cause some seniors to limit their physical activity, which can lead to reduced mobility and diminished quality of life and can increase their risk of falling. 

Kathleen Johnson is the fitness, membership and marketing director for the Tuscarawas County YMCA. She says the Y is committed to healthy aging and helping seniors reduce their risk for falls. 

"Even older adults who are in good health can suffer a fall, and many families oftentimes underestimate the risks and steps needed to prevent them,” she says. “Fortunately, community-based organizations like the Y are a great resource for any older adult, family member or caregiver who wants to learn what they can do to not only decrease the risk of a fall but improve overall health and well-being."

The Y is helping to improve the health and well-being of older adults across the country through programs like Chair Yoga, the SilverSneakers Classic Fitness Class, Aqua Aerobics, HydroFit Deep Water Exercise, and Enhance Fitness Classes. 

"Helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe is our goal. A strong mind and body can decrease fall risk is older adults," says Johnson.

The CDC suggests the following basic lifestyle and safety changes to help older adults reduce risk and prevent falls:

  • Begin an exercise program to improve your leg strength & balance.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines.
  • Get annual eye check-ups & update your eyeglasses.

Seniors can also make their homes safer by:

  • Removing clutter & tripping hazards.
  • Putting railings on all stairs & adding grab bars in the bathroom.
  • Installing proper lighting, especially on stairs.

To learn more about fitness programs at the Tuscarawas County YMCA, call 330-364-5511 or view a session program guide at

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