Falls prevention event at Alvernia in Reading

READING, Pa. — Organizers of a first-of-its-kind event in Berks County are hoping to help the area's older residents stay on their feet.

The Berks County Falls Free Coalition hosted its inaugural falls prevention event at The PLEX on Alvernia University's main campus in southwest Reading on Wednesday.

The event, which coincided with National Falls Prevention Awareness Week, provided individuals who are 55 and older with resources and information about how they can prevent falls and trips and improve their balance.

Robert Torres, the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, and Susan Neff, the department's representative for the National Falls Free Coalition, were on hand for the event.

"[We're] trying to get older adults to understand steps they can take to stay healthy, maintain their wellbeing, maintain their balance, their strength," Torres said. "These are things that, as you're getting older, if you're aware of it, it will help to prevent some of these unfortunate consequences." 

Several local agencies set up stations around the room to provide those in attendance with blood pressure, balance, strength, hearing, and vision screenings.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among Pennsylvania residents 65 and older, according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.

The National Council on Aging provides a "Falls Free CheckUp" on its website for people to evaluate their risk of falling.

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