According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Minnesotans of all ages have fall death rates one and one-half times higher than the U.S. rates, and among the elderly, Minnesota fall death rates are more than three times greater than the national rate. One of every three Americans 65 years old or older falls each year, and falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among this age group. Falls account for 87 percent of all fractures for people 65 years and older, and they are the second leading cause of spinal cord and brain injury among older adults.
North Country SHIP is taking action by working with local partners to ensure that seniors can stay independent and in their homes longer. What options are available for falls prevention? Two of the evidence-based falls prevention programs offered are Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance and Matter of Balance (MOB) classes. North Country SHIP has been partnering with health care facilities in all four counties of Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard and Lake of the Woods to make these classes available.
There are Matter of Balance coaches trained in all four counties, and North Country SHIP continues to work toward getting more coaches trained in falls prevention. In addition, the assessment and referral process continues within each county. For more information on falls prevention or to find a class near you, contact Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging at 218- 745-6733.