FAIR LAWN, NJ – A little time, a little care, in addition to an upcoming class, can reduce the very real threat of falling for individuals age 60 and greater. Local elder care provider, Jim Prussak, is leading a program, the first of its kind in New Jersey, to reduce the risk of falls.

Beginning March 11, Prussak, owner of Applause Home Care in Fair Lawn, will be conducting a multifaceted fall risk prevention program sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called "Stepping On".

To register for the program, contact Jennifer Van Dam at (201) 444-8200 or jvandam@care-one.com

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“Our team went to Wisconsin, where the training is based, to become trainers and facilitators,” Prussak said. “We will be the first organization to introduce this great program to New Jersey!”

Falls are the leading cause of accidental injury or death of individuals age 65 and older, Prussak said. One out of three people 65 and over falls every year. Ten percent of these falls are serious enough to require hospitalization.

“Falls are also a leading cause of loss of independent living,” Prussak said, citing injuries that can occur, such as a banged head or broken hip. “Things can quickly spiral down a dark road.”

Prussak said as part of this 7-week, 2 hours per week program, he has partnered as a volunteer with a local pharmacist, ophthalmologist, physical therapist and law enforcement individuals to engage the participants. 

The classes are highly participative. The supportive environment builds participants' confidence in managing their health behaviors to reduce the risk of falls and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

The program content covers the following: falls and risk; strength and balance exercises; safe footwear and walking; vision and falls; home and community safety; medication review and management; bone health; and coping after a fall. 

The program challenges older persons to appraise their fall risk realistically and provides a forum for gaining and applying knowledge about safety practices.

Prussak said the program's goal is much like his businesses goal: helping others to help themselves.

“This program helps older persons to take control, and then adopt and follow-through with safety strategies in everyday life,” Prussak said. 

Applause Home Care offers individualized care for seniors who partner with caretakers to improve their quality of life with the specific care they need.

Applause Home Care is partnering with CareOne at The Cupola, 100 West Ridgewood Avenue, Paramus, to host the program.

“CareOne has developed a reputation as a premier health care company and assisted living community due to our commitment to best clinical practices, strong management standards and resident quality of life,” said Jennifer Van Dam, director of sales and marketing at CareOne at The Cupola. “We are much more than just an NJ nursing home; we offer a wide variety of services and living arrangements to give each of our residents the individualized care they need and deserve.”

With this in mind, Van Dam said the fall risk program works within its philosophy to recognize such risks for falls early on.

“This program aligns with our goals because it implements strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels,” Van Dam said. “The balance and falls program will be a collaborative approach and will integrate evidence-based fall risk management across disciplines in an effort to prevent and reduce rate of falls, and injury from falls, and promote better quality of life and function for the residents.”

“We invite elders from the area to join us at the worthwhile, program,” Prussak said. “We do charge $20 for the entire program, which helps defray some of the costs including providing healthy snacks and ankle weights for those who are able to use them as they progress in the program.”

Those who will get the most benefit from the program are elders who are cognitively intact and who can navigate outside without use of a walker or wheelchair. 

To register for the program, contact Jennifer Van Dam at (201) 444-8200 or jvandam@care-one.com .

Applause Home Care is a family-owned non-franchise provider of home care in northern New Jersey located at 19-21 Fair Lawn Avenue.