Once again welcome to National Senior Center Month! Each year September brings an opportunity to acknowledge the benefits brought to the community by Faribault’s senior center, Buckham West. It is our goal to connect older adults to activities, exercise and each other through a variety of ways as we continue to be an important resource.

This week of September we spend a moment to recognize the 21-25 as Falls Prevention Awareness Week. Our objective is to raise awareness about how to prevent falls among older adults.

Why focus on falls? Falls remain the leading cause of injury death for older Americans threatening seniors’ safety and independence and generating enormous costs. The CDC’s Injury Center monitors falls, fall-related injuries, and associated costs and reports:

• One-fourth of Americans aged 65+ falls each year.

• Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

• Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,700 deaths.

• Adjusted for inflation, the annual direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion. Hospital costs account for two-thirds of the total.

• By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $67.7 billion.

In addition to pain and suffering, and the high cost of rehabilitation, falls also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, often self-limit activities and social engagements. Resulting limitations can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.

If you are interested in learning more about fall prevention or to see if you are at risk of falling, the National Council on Aging has great resources for you at ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention.

Home Help Offered

Buckham West is happy to announce once again that there will be home services available through a partnership between Rice County and Family Service Rochester (FSR).

These services will assist older adults and persons with disabilities to remain living in the homes they love.

The two important services that will be needed in the days and months ahead are fall clean up and also snow removal. If you are living independently and are looking for help with these chores, you are encouraged to call FSR for more information at 507-287-2010. These services will be at a reduced cost and in some cases may even be free.

Estate and Will Advice

Buckham West will be sponsoring an Estate and Will Advice Clinic on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. For this clinic, Jessica Hafemeyer, Attorney at Law, will be available to provide senior citizens with information and direction in the area of wills and other estate planning issues. No wills will be prepared at this clinic. Appointments are required by calling 332-7357. You do not need to be a Buckham West member to access this free service. 

Medicare Basics

If you are turning 65 or going on Medicare soon, here is an opportunity for you to get the information you need. “Medicare Basics” will be held again this year at Buckham West on Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The workshop will cover the parts of Medicare- hospital, medical and drug options; including original/ traditional Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare advantage plans, Part D prescription drug coverage and preventive benefits.

Instructor Chad Wojchik, a certified State Health Insurance Program Counselor and specialist with the Senior LinkAge Line, will be joining us virtually in our Anderson Conference Room, with social distancing in place and masks required. Due to the spacing requirements there will be a limited number of spots available. In order to register, please call 332-7357 Monday-Fridays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. or email mkaiser@buckhamwest.org. This is a free event which is open to the public.

Fashions on Central

It's that time of year again when our gently-used clothing store, Fashions on Central, brings out the fashions for fall and winter. We are fully stocked with anything you need for those days when the temperature begins to drop. 

Fashions on Central, our gently used clothing store located in downtown Faribault, is now open for Tuesday-Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Reminders:

• Caregiver Support Group meetings are held at Buckham West on the fourth Tuesday of the month 5:30 to 7 p.m. Please register in advance by calling Brenda Johnson at 332-7357.

• Carla Pearson, LSW, a Senior and Caregiver Advocate for Three Rivers Community Action, is another great resource for older adults in Rice County. She can now be reached only by phone at 1-800-277-8418 x328. 

• Curbside Pickup Meal- Since there is no noon meal served inside Buckham West until further notice, why not consider picking up a meal instead. For more information please call the kitchen at 332-7680 or Buckham West at 332-7357. You can view the August menu on the Buckham West website at buckhamwest.org and click the Senior Dining tab at the top.

• There are also many exercise classes that are being offered through Faribault’s Park and Recreation Department. These include several classes in our fitness studio and also in the pool. There are class size limits though, so call them at 334-2064 to reserve a spot.

Mona Kaiser is executive director of Buckham West, Faribault’s senior center.

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