Injuries from falls are a leading reason Cobb County residents visit hospital emergency rooms – about one Cobb resident per hour, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Throughout September, the Cobb County Public Library System will be hosting programs for all ages to raise awareness about falls prevention and other safety-oriented resources. Please check back to this page for updates on the 2017 Cobb County library events in support of Falls Prevention – our third year as a community partner for this national public health safety initiative.

Falls Prevention Awareness Day 2017 is September 22, the first day of the fall season. This year’s national theme is “10 Years Standing Together to Prevent Falls.” 

For seniors, falls can be devastating and life-altering. The good news: “Serious falls are not an inevitable part of aging.”

Cobb County libraries are working strategically to engage everyone with organizations and health- and safety-related resources in the community. We are collaborating with government, healthcare and community agencies focused on addressing the costly falls issue. Several local, state and national Falls Prevention resources are available for libraries and other organizations seeking to engage with this public health issue.

The Cobb County Public Library System’s Falls Prevention Awareness initiative was launched in 2015 and is covering several fronts.

Upcoming Falls Prevention Awareness 2016 events include:

Here is an overview of the events in 2015 :

• The East Cobb Library hosted a Falls Prevention Awareness Open House on Saturday, September 26, 2015. The 2015 national theme was “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls.” Community partners for the event included WellStar Health System, Cobb Senior Services, Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services, Emory University Center for Health in Aging, East Cobb Lions Club, Cobb County Master Gardener Joe Washington, former host of HGTV’s Ground Breakers; Tango Rio, Cobb County Aquatic Centers and Metro Music Therapy. The East Cobb Library event included health checks based on falls prevention best practices or evidence-based criteria, vendors and demonstrations such as Adaptive Gardening, Adapted Tango, music therapy and Tai Chi.

• The South Cobb Regional Library hosted a health screening event by WellStar on Friday, September 4, 2015. The event included health screenings related to falls prevention – blood pressure, glucose, BMI, total cholesterol and bone density.

• The Library System joined other Cobb County Government departments in April 2015 with staff members completing Coach training for “A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls,” an eight-week class for seniors hosted by Cobb Senior Services. The Library System’s West Cobb Regional Manager Sherry Blomeley and Adult Services Librarian Susan Irvin of East Cobb Library completed this training. They led their first class, which meets for two hours each week, at the West Cobb Senior Center last summer and a class at the East Cobb Library in the spring of 2016.

• During September 2015, three Cobb County libraries hosted CarFit, an interactive program designed to improve older driver safety. Trained volunteers provide information to ensure the safest “fit” for older drivers in their vehicles. Support for the CarFit events was provided by Chattahoochee Technical College and Cobb County Cooperative Extension Services. Kennesaw Library Branch Manager Ginny Everett received the CarFit technician training and certification in 2015. For more information, click here.

• For young children and parents, Mumferd Safety Tales by Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre was presented in September at four Cobb County libraries. In this 30-minute production appropriate for children ages 3-7, Mumferd learns skills to help him stay safe – and shares what he learns about safety at home and in the community along the way.

• New items on falls prevention and related topics have been added to the library’s catalog.

For more information on Falls Prevention and related health and safety resources, click here.