KEARNEY — Every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

Last year, CHI Health Good Samaritan admitted 388 people with fall-related injuries, according to a news release. Of those, 289 were patients 65 years and older.

The Good Samaritan Fall Prevention Clinic is set 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Peterson Senior Activity Center, 2020 W. 11th St.

Health professionals will provide free screenings (blood pressure, diabetic foot evaluation and balance) and information about diabetes, alternative fitness classes, pet therapy and more.

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In addition, Good Samaritan staff will demonstrate how to conduct home safety assessments with checklists that address fall hazards such as rugs, cords, lighting, handrails and nonslip footwear.

“The chance of falling increases with age, and the risk is higher with certain chronic diseases, such as a history of stroke, arthritis, diabetes, dementia and Parkinson’s disease,” said Tracy Dethlefs, trauma prevention coordinator at Good Samaritan.

Other risk factors include muscle weakness, difficulty walking and using medications, especially those for anxiety, depression or difficulty sleeping. They can cause dizziness or confusion. Poor vision and environmental hazards also contribute to an increased risk of falling.

Falling is not an inevitable result of aging, according to Dethlefs. “Most falls can be easily prevented,” she said.

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