Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths, unintentional injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. Falls can take a serious toll on older adults’ quality of life and independence. Each year falls result in more than 2.8 million emergency room visits, 800,000 hospitalizations and 27,000 deaths.

Falling is NOT an inevitable part of aging and many falls can be prevented. In conjunction with the nationwide Falls Prevention Awareness Week, Mankato Clinic Physical Therapy Department and VINE Faith in Action are hosting a FREE Falls Risk Screening from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22 at VINE Adult Community Center, 421 E. Hickory Street, Mankato.

The Falls Risk Screening will include an evaluation of gait, strength, and balance to identify modifiable risk factors. Call VINE at 507-386-5588 to schedule an appointment.

Most falls can be prevented with health and safety measures such as strength and balance exercises, properly managing medications, regular vision checks and making the living environment safer.

“Preventing falls is a team effort that takes a balance of education, intervention, and community support,” said Mankato Clinic Physical Therapist Katie Swanson, PT, DPT. “The Mankato Clinic has a multi-specialty group of providers in primary care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, nutrition and optometry who can provide care in reducing fall risk among older adults. When we team up with an awesome community partner like VINE, we can improve the quality of life for older adults.”