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Owen Durney

MPA
Falls Prevention Programs
Management Coordinator

Address:

3500 Sunrise Highway, Suite 124
Building 300, P.O. Box 9006
Great River, New York 11739-9006

(631) 853-6492

Fax: (631) 853-6492
 owen.durney@suffolkcountyny.gov

Suffolk County Falls Prevention Program

Why think about falls?

two people stretching

Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury and deaths for senior citizens living in New York State. More than one in three over 65 years of age fall each year. Half of the senior citizen population are hospitalized due to a fall, and end up in a nursing home or rehabilitation center.

Note: Program is not only for people 65 and older; you can also be under 65 and still attend a falls prevention program. Research has indicated persons as young as age 50 who participate in preventive injury prevention activities increase their likely hood of staying healthy and staying independent as they grow older.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, between 2012 and 2050, “the United States will experience considerable growth in its older population. In 2050, the population aged 65 and over is projected to be 83.7 million, almost double its population of 43.1 million in 2012.”

According to the Center for Disease Control:

  • 16% of older adults in U.S. have fallen at least one time in the past three months.
  • 31% of older adults in the U.S. sustained an injury that resulted in a visit to a primary care provider.

In 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Census reports that the senior citizen is 14.9% of the total population in Suffolk County, New York.

  • As of 2014, there are approximately 450,000 senior citizens who live in Suffolk County.
  • In 2013, Suffolk County ambulance call data identifies 17% calls for EMT service was due to a falls related injury in Suffolk County, New York.

Recognizing the rapid increase in the senior citizen population and their needs related to injury prevention, Suffolk County Department of Health Services through the Division of Preventive Medicine implemented different falls prevention programs to meet this increasing public health need.

Programs and Services

Our falls prevention programs are specifically designed for people who are:

  • At risk of falling
  • Have a fear of falling
  • Who have fallen one or more times
Older man sitting on a bench

Staying Independent for Life

Staying Independent for Life is a comprehensive two-hour falls and injury prevention seminar developed by Suffolk County Department of Health Services. This program, which targets senior citizens, covers risk factors and risk reduction strategies for falls. This workshop focuses on major issues concerning falls prevention.

Topics covered include:

  • Safe footwear
  • Importance of annual vision exams
  • Medication review
  • Home hazards (assessments and modification)
  • Strength and balance exercises

Staying Independent for Life gives participants guidance about voicing concerns with health providers, care givers and other members of their community.

This program is led by a health professional from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Click here to see a calendar of upcoming Staying Independent for Life programs in your community!

Send us an email for more information about the Staying Independent for Life Program.


Falls Seniors Chair Exercise

Stepping On: Building Confidence and Reducing Falls

Stepping On is a program that empowers mature adults to carry out healthy behaviors that reduce the risk of falls, improve self-management and increase quality of life.

This program is facilitated by two trained leaders, along with guest experts in physical therapy, vision, pharmacy, and community safety. It is a community-based workshop offered once a week for seven weeks using adult education and self-efficacy principals.

Senior citizens develop specific knowledge and skills to prevent falls in community settings. Subjects covered include:

  • improving strength and balance
  • home and community safety
  • vision
  • footwear
  • medication review

It is the process in which Stepping On is taught that make the program so effective. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health behaviors resulting in the reduction of falls with the goal of maintaining active and fulfilling lives.

This program is led by a health professional from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Click here to see a calendar of upcoming Stepping On programs in your community!

Send us an email for more information about the Staying Independent for Life Program.


Woman on beach doing tai chi.

Tai Chi: For Arthritis and Fall Prevention

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention is a falls prevention program that uses the principles and movements of Tai Chi in helping senior citizens improve their balance and increase their confidence in doing everyday activities.

Classes are led by a trained/certified instructor; the class meets twice a week, 60 minutes for 8 weeks.

This evidence- based program is proven to reduce falls and improve fitness and is designed for older adults who are interested in improving balance, flexibility and strength. Participants will learn:

  • Balance Skills
  • Proper Body Alignment
  • Coordinated Tai Chi movements

During each class core balance exercises are introduced and practiced. Exercises focus on stimulating musculoskeletal and sensory systems via self-initiated movements such as body weight shifting, unilateral weight-bearing, trunk rotation, ankle sways and coordinated eye-head-hand movements.

This program is led by a health professional from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Click here to see a calendar of upcoming Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance programs in your community!

Send us an email for more information about the Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance Program.

For Providers

About Us

Falls Naco Award

The process of aging doesn't have to be difficult, but by being part of the Suffolk County prevention programs, you can stand on your own, be responsible, and do what is best for you.

Division of Preventive Medicine

The Division of Preventive Medicine offers three education programs that address falls and falls prevention to help senior citizens live healthy and independent lives Staying Independent for Life is a 2 hour falls prevention workshop that covers risk factors and fall reduction strategies Stepping On is a 7 week program that helps senior citizens develop specific knowledge and skills to prevent falls in community setting Tai Chi for Arthritis is a falls prevention program that uses the principles of Tai Chi movement to help seniors improve their balance.


Seniors Learn How To Reduce Falls At

Suffolk County's "Steppin On" Program.


Injury Prevention Committee

Recognizing the public health need for falls prevention, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in 2009 began working with community partners from local agencies, hospitals, colleges and organizations to create an Injury Prevention Committee, the first of its kind in New York State.

  • AARP
  • Dominican Sisters Family Health Services
  • Eastern Long Island Hospital
  • Gentiva Home Health
  • Good Samaritan Hospital
  • John T. Mather Memorial Hospital
  • North Shore LIJ-Health System
  • Peconic Bay Medical Center
  • Retired Senior and Volunteer Program
  • St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center
  • St. Charles Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Stony Brook University Medical center
  • Suffolk County Department of Health Services
  • Suffolk County Office for Aging
  • YMCA of Long Island

Community Partners

  • YMCA of Long Island
  • St. Catherine of Siena Hospital
  • John T. Mather Memorial Hospital
  • Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center
  • Huntington Hospital
  • Peconic Bay Medical Center
  • St. Charles Hospital
  • Lindenhurst Eye Physicians & Surgeons, P.C

Schedules

Up-coming Falls Prevention Programs

Select from the List below

Calendar Icon Link   Tai Chi for Arthritis/Balance Classes (Balance Skills, Proper Body Alignment, Coordinated Tai Chi movements)
 
Calendar Icon Link   Stepping On Classes (Safe Footwear, Importance of annual vision exams, Medication review, Home hazards, strength & balance exercises)
 
Calendar Icon Link   Complete Falls Prevention Classes (Every Topic Covered in Stepping On, Tai Chi & Falls Prevention Classes)

Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901