Pamela K. Matura, Executive Director, Area Agency on Aging District 7
May is a pretty special time of the year at our Agency – it’s Older Americans Month! It’s a time to celebrate the wonderful contributions given by so many older Ohioans in our communities and express our gratitude for their years of positive influence and dedication to their families, friends and neighbors.
This year’s theme for the month, which is observed all across our nation and state, is “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.” During this month, we join with our providers, local senior centers, and other important partners in the aging network, in recognizing older adults and the people who serve and support them as powerful and vital citizens who greatly contribute to our communities. This year’s theme also focuses on injury prevention and the programs that are available to help older adults remain safe, healthy and active.
Specifically around falls prevention, the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) is working closely with the Ohio Department of Aging on “STEADY U Ohio,” which is the state’s comprehensive falls prevention initiative. STEADY U partners are working to strengthen existing falls prevention activities, identify new opportunities, and raise awareness of falls prevention strategies and resources. Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov to take a falls risk self-assessment, find easy steps to prevent falls, and learn more about “A Matter of Balance,” a free, community-based education program to help participants see falls as something they can control. Locally, the AAA7 provides “A Matter of Balance” classes through community coaches in our local communities.
“A Matter of Balance” is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Participants in the class learn to set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and learn simple exercises to increase strength and balance. Attending classes can help improve quality of life and independence. For more information, call us at 1-800-582-7277.
We at the Area Agency on Aging District 7 are certainly proud of the opportunities we have had to provide services, supports and resources to older Americans year-round. The services and programs we can provide give us the opportunity to promote happy and productive lives for seniors and those with disabilities, allowing them to remain safe and independent in their home or community. If you’d like to learn more about resources that are available for you or your loved one, please call our Resource Center toll-free at 1-800-582-7277.
So, a happy Older Americans Month to all! Please take the time this month to recognize seniors throughout our ten counties and be sure to thank them for their important role in our communities.