For older Americans, falls can be devastating.

When you look closely at the issue, the numbers are staggering.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, for older adults, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries.

And one simple fall can begin a spiral of health problems.

So the best thing a senior can do is make sure a fall doesn't happen.

Matthew Weber, doctor of physical therapy for Fox Rehabilitation says, "Anything you can do to prevent a fall and get ahead of it is very important and can literally save your life."

Weber explains that as we age, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions — make falls more likely.

Eighty-nine-year old Goldie Kurtz knows all about falls.

"I get so scared because when I fell because I did get hurt. I hurt both my knees and it really set me back."

Experts say around the house:
*Reduce tripping hazards (like clutter)
*Use assistive devices (like grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, )
*Make sure there is a good railing on all stairways
*Improve lighting (you need to see where you're going)
*Wear sensible shoes

"Make sure you know where your pets are, if you have pets running around that you won't trip over one of your pets. Just making sure your living area is clean is important," Weber says.

He says seniors need to learn about falls and why they happen.

"I've seen it so much and it can be very devastating when someone falls. With or without injury, it can do a lot to the psychology of the person in that they now have a fear of falling," he added.

The CDC says falls are a huge public health problem that can be prevented.

Woodland Terrace at the Oaks, at 1263 S Cedar Crest Blvd in Allentown, is offering a free workshop on Wednesday, January 15th at 10 a.m. with advice for seniors on how to increase their strength, balance, and mobility.

Weber explains the program is set up to show seniors specific exercises that will help them prevent a fall from happening.

"We're doing a high level progressive intensive exercise program for the senior citizen population specifically to reduce falls," he says.

If you'd like more information about the exercise program at Woodland Terrace, go to the Woodland Terrace website or call 610-433-9220.