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Falls are a serious health threat for elderly folks and there are easy was to reduce the risk

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH  - Failing eyesight can contribute to falls.Falling is the leading cause of injury and hospitalization for older people, and Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center in Gresham is holding low-cost workshops to help prevent these often debilitating accidents.

The center is offering "Stepping On," a fall-prevention workshop that shows people how to reduce the risk of dangerous falls and injury. There are proven, easy ways to reduce the risk of a tumble, so that you or a loved one doesn't become a victim of a spill.

The seven-week course covers techniques to reduce fall hazards and tips to make a home safer. The classes will explain how vision, hearing, medication and illness can create fall risks. The workshops also include exercises to promote better balance and mobility and information on what to do if you fall.

Taking a fall is common for older adults, with one in four people 65 or older falling down every year. One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as hip fracture or head injury.

The seven-week workshop runs from 10 a.m. to noon on Fridays from April 27 through June 8. at Mount Hood Medical Center, 24800 S.E. Stark St. The cost for the seven-week workshop is $10.

The classes are presented by Legacy Health professionals. The two-hour classes include exercises and techniques to prevent falls. Health experts also present health tips on eyesight, safety and medication.

Stepping On is most appropriate for individuals who are 65 or older, have fallen in the past year or who fear of falling and live at home. It isn't suitable for folks with dementia.

To reserve a space in the class or to get more information, call Legacy Health at 503-674-1123.

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