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.
For seniors, falls can be devastating and life-altering. The good news: “Serious falls are not an inevitable part of aging.”
Throughout September 2017, the Cobb County Public Library System will be hosting programs to raise awareness about falls prevention and other safety-oriented resources. The Cobb County Public Library System’s Falls Prevention Awareness initiative was launched in 2015.
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.”
The 2017 Cobb County library free events in support of Falls Prevention include a health screening event by WellStar Health System, free vision screenings and Tai Chi demonstration classes.
Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention demonstration classes will be presented with support from Cobb Senior Services at four Cobb libraries in September. The one-hour classes include:
- Tuesday, September 5, 2 pm: East Cobb Library, 4880 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta 30068. (770) 509-2730
- Tuesday, September 12, 2 pm: Kemp Memorial Library, 4029 Due West Road, Marietta 30064. (770) 528-2527
- Tuesday, September 19, 2 pm: Kennesaw Library, 2250 Lewis Road, Kennesaw 30144. (770) 528-2529
- Thursday, September 21, 11:30 am: South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Road, Mableton 30126, (678) 398-5828
The 2017 Falls Prevention Awareness events include Free Vision Screenings by volunteers from three area Lions Clubs. The five Lions events at Cobb County libraries include:
- Wednesday, September 6, 2 pm to 4 pm: West Cobb Regional Library, 1750 Dennis Kemp Lane, Kennesaw 30152. (770) 528-4699. Paulding-West Cobb Lions Club
- Saturday, September 9, 2 pm to 4 pm: Kennesaw Library, 2250 Lewis St., Kennesaw 30144. (770) 528-2529. North Cobb Lions Club
- Wednesday, September 13, 3 pm to 5 pm: Sibley Library, 1539 South Cobb Drive, Marietta 30060. (770) 528-2520. South Cobb Lions Club
- Monday, September 18, 2 pm to 4 pm: Powder Springs Library, 4181 Atlanta Street, Building 1, Powder Springs 30127. (770) 439-3600. Paulding-West Cobb Lions Club
- Friday, September 22, 3 pm to 5:30 pm: South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Road, Mableton 30126, (678) 398-5828. South Cobb Lions Club
The South Cobb Regional Library is hosting WellStar Health Screening @ South Cobb: Falls Prevention Awareness on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 from 11 am to 2 pm. The health screenings for adults ages 18 and up related to falls prevention by WellStar Community Education & Outreach includes blood pressure, glucose, total cholesterol and bone density. No registration required – walk-ins encouraged. (678) 398-5828
The annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day event at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta is Friday, September 22, 10 am to 3 pm,for demonstrations, health checks, screenings, and more. Lunch provided. The event is presented by Shepherd Center, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Department of Human Services, and Grady Health System. Please RSVP to Elizabeth.Head@dph.ga.gov or (404) 657-2894. Register at eventbrite.com – Search for falls prevention.
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 first two years of the Falls Prevention Awareness Initiative
The 2016 Falls Prevention Awareness events included:
- Free Vision Screening by the Marietta Lions Club at Switzer Library
- WellStar Health Screening @ South Cobb [Library]: Falls Prevention Awareness
- Free Vision Screening by the South Cobb Lions Club at South Cobb Regional Library
- WellStar Health Screening @ Gritters [Library]: Falls Prevention Awareness
- Free Vision Screening by the East Cobb Lions Club at Gritters Library
- Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls with Tai Chi at East Cobb Library. Barry Murray, who has practiced Tai Chi for two decades, led the class.
- Benefits of Tango for Older Adults and People with Parkinson’s Disease, a presentation and demonstration at Mountain View Regional Library by dance therapy researcher Madeleine Hackney PhD (Emory University School of Medicine and Atlanta VA Medical Center)
- Adaptive Gardening by Master Gardener Joe Washington at Vinings Library
- Ready, Steady, Balance: Take Action for Falls Prevention at West Cobb Regional Library
Here is an overview of the events in 2015 :
• The East Cobb Library hosted a Falls Prevention Awareness Open House. 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.
• 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 during summer of 2015 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.