Falls Prevention Awareness Week 2020 is September 21-25. This public health initiative is scheduled for the first week of the fall season and is also observed throughout September across the United States.
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.”
The Cobb County Public Library System’s Falls Prevention Awareness initiative was launched in 2015.
In past years throughout September, the Cobb County Public Library hosted programs with Cobb Senior Services and other partners about falls prevention. Related programs are also included in East Cobb Library’s Senior Wellness Series and others offered at public libraries across the county.
Check back for updates for 2020 soon. Below is a review of past years of this important public health initiative:
The first five years of the library’s Falls Prevention Awareness Initiative
Find Your Balance in Cobb!
The 2019 Cobb County library free events in support of Falls Prevention included programs by WellStar Health System, Master Gardener Joe Washington, PT Solutions Physical Therapy and more.
Free health screenings at South Cobb Regional Library on September 16th
WellStar Community Education and Outreach staff offered free health screenings for adults at South Cobb Regional Library on Sept. 16.
The WellStar health screenings for adults age 18 and up included:
- Blood Pressure
- Bone density
This was the fifth consecutive year WellStar has offered free health screenings in September at the South Cobb library as part of Cobb County Public Libraries’ Falls Prevention Awareness Initiative. September is Falls Prevention Awareness Month.
The library is located at 805 Clay Road, Mableton 30126.
Fall Risk Screenings
Cobb Senior Services collaborated with PT Solutions Physical Therapy to offer free balance screenings at Senior Centers throughout the community on September 24th, with support from Cobb library staff.
Adaptive Gardening with Master Gardener Joe Washington at the North Cobb Regional Library was presented September 5th. He discussed tools, techniques and resources for adapting your environment for gardening.
The original host of Ground Breakers, HGTV’s longest running landscape show, the Cobb County Master Gardener is a former Atlanta TV news and sports anchor and a headliner at home and garden shows. He is an advocate for smart gardening practices to reduce water use and adaptive gardening for seniors and people with disabilities.
The Adaptive Gardening event is the first adult program at the new library. The grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting for North Cobb Regional was celebrated September 5th.
North Cobb Regional Library, 3535 Old 41 Highway NW, Kennesaw 30144, (770) 801-5320
The 2018 Cobb County library free events in support of Falls Prevention includes programs by Cobb Senior Services, WellStar Health System, free vision screenings by area Lions Clubs, Master Gardener Joe Washington and more.
Find Your Balance in Cobb: Agility Ability Course
Senior Wellness Center, Marietta
Thursday, September 6
11 am to 2 pm
The Senior Wellness Center of Cobb Senior Services is partnering with the Cobb County Public Library for Falls Prevention Awareness Month. The CDC reports that one in five falls causes a serious injury and the fear of falling can seriously affect quality of life for older individuals. Information on fall prevention classes, a fitness obstacle course, along with mini fall assessments will be available for participants during the fair. Free and open to the public. All ages welcome!
Senior Wellness Center, 1150 Powder Springs St., Marietta 30064. (770) 528-5355.
Find Your Balance in Cobb demonstration classes were presented by Cobb Senior Services at Cobb County Public Libraries and at the Smyrna Public Library, the City of Smyrna’s library, in September.
The free one-hour demo classes included:
- Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) at the Smyrna Public Library on September 11.
- Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention on September 12 at 11:30 at the Sewell Mill Library & Cultural Center.
- Assistive Technology Demo at the Windy Hill Library on September 17 at 10 am.
- Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention at the Stratton Library on September 25 at 11.
The 2018 Falls Prevention Awareness events includes Free Vision Screenings by volunteers from four area Lions Clubs.
The five Lions events at Cobb County libraries included:
- September 8: Kennesaw Library. North Cobb Lions Club
- September 11: West Cobb Regional Library. Paulding-West Cobb Lions Club
- September 18: South Cobb Regional Library. South Cobb Lions Club
- September 19: Sibley Library. South Cobb Lions Club
- September 21, Noon to 2 pm: East Cobb Library. East Cobb Lions Club
The South Cobb Regional Library hosted WellStar Health Screening for Falls Prevention on September 18. 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.
Special Find Your Balance in Cobb sessions on yoga, Tai Chi and more presented by local instructors in September included:
Wednesday Yoga at West Cobb Regional Library is each Wednesday in September with certified yoga instructor Beth Rampley.
Instructor Jim Beasley presented Introduction to Tai Chi and Qigong at the Switzer Library on September 6. He has been training in Qigong and other martial arts for over 30 years and teaching over 25 years.
Chair Yoga at Kemp Memorial Library on September 11 presented by yoga instructor Jackie Pressley.
Find Your Balance with Chair Yoga at East Cobb Library on September 12 with certified yoga instructor David Lecomte.
Yoga for Balance at the Kennesaw Library on September 13 led by certified yoga instructor Karin Thomas. S
Find Your Balance with GLASS, Georgia Library for Accessible Statewide Services, at East Cobb Library on September 21. The event included Talking Books for individuals with visual impairment. The program was followed by free vision screening by the East Cobb Lions Club.
Find Your Balance with Master Gardener Joe Washington at the East Cobb Library on September 22. He discussed tools, techniques and resources for adapting your environment for gardening.
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 public health issue. Several local, state and national Falls Prevention resources are available for libraries and other organizations.
The annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day event at the Shepherd Center on September 14, 2018 included demonstrations, health checks, screenings, and more. The event is presented by Shepherd Center, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Department of Human Services, and Grady Health System.
The 2017 Falls Prevention Awareness events included:
- Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention demonstration classes with support from Cobb Senior Services at the East Cobb, South Cobb, Kennesaw and Kemp Memorial libraries.
- Free Vision Screening by the Paulding-West Cobb Lions Club at the West Cobb and Powder Springs libraries; the South Cobb Lions Club at the South Cobb and Sibley libraries; and the North Cobb Lions Club at the Kennesaw Library.
- South Cobb Regional Library hosted WellStar Community Education and Outreach for WellStar Health Screening for adults.
The 2016 Falls Prevention Awareness events included:
- Free Vision Screening events by the Marietta Lions Club at Switzer Library, the South Cobb Lions Club at the South Cobb Regional Library, and the East Cobb Lions Club at the Gritters Library
- WellStar Health Screening for Falls Prevention by WellStar Health System at the South Cobb and Gritters libraries.
- 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; 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 WellStar health screening event.
• 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 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.