Program aims to keep kupuna standing, safe

Stan Michaels, injury prevention specialist, will give two presentations Friday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m., at the Kauai District Health Office Conference Room.

Ileina Ferrier, master trainer with the Tai Chi for Health Institute, will demonstrate the simplicity and effectiveness of Tai Chi for Health.

Seniors who want to know the best advice to avoid fall injuries and health care professionals who work with older adults are welcome to attend and learn what the Department of Health is doing to prevent falls in older adults in Hawaii.

Michaels, who is with the Hawaii State Department of Health, recently returned from Washington, where he attended the National NCOA Fall Prevention Resource Conference, and he will share the most recent advancements.

“Find out what you can do to help our kupuna age in place and remain living safely at home,” said a press release.

Seniors falling is a serious problem in Hawaii. Almost every hour a senior is transported by an ambulance to an emergency room just because of a fall injury, over 8,000 per year.

Of those seniors hospitalized for a hip fracture, the most common non-fatal injury as a result of a fall, and 40 percent never return home or live independently again.

“Falls are preventable,” according to a press release from the Kauai District Health Office. “They are not an inevitable result of aging. Simple changes in lifestyle can help prevent a large portion of the incidents.”

Ferrier will also be hosting a two-day Tai Chi for arthritis and fall prevention instructor workshop on Friday and Saturday.

Info: rachelle.bachran@doh.hawaii.gov or 241-3564

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