Making Martha's Vineyard an Aging-Friendly Island
September 2016                                                                           Volume 8            
Paddy's Corner

Dear Friends,

I want to draw your attention to two big issues this month.

First, this Newsletter focuses primarily on Falls Prevention -- fourth highest cause of death among seniors over 65, and first cause of trauma and injury in that population. 28% of respondents to last year/s Senior Survey reported that they had fallen in the previous year, and most of us have some tale to tell of a bad fall, or a fall narrowly averted, and many of us know our families worry that we WILL fall, even if it hasn't happened yet!

Healthy Aging - MV has organized a Falls Prevention Coalition, a group of island agencies and organizations that will be working over the next year to educate islanders about the causes of falls and what we all can do to prevent them. Please read the article.

Second, on Sunday October 9th, at 4:00 p.m., Hospice of Martha's Vineyard and The Film Center are showing the documentary film of Dr. Atul Gawande's book - Being Mortal.  This extraordinary book and film explore the challenges we will all face concerning what values, hopes and plans we have for the final chapter of our lives. It also documents the importance of thinking about these issues and talking to our families, our health care providers and others so they know what matters most to us.

Healthy Aging-MV is starting an initiative in this area.  We hope you attend the film, and we look forward to further Conversations.

Paddy Moore, Chair, Healthy Aging Martha's Vineyard
A Matter of Balance                                                                                             
A Matter of Balance
A major evidence-based program available on island to help seniors (and others!) reduce their fears of falling and increase their strength and balance. Last year HA-MV spun off this program to two new providers:  The Y, and the Island Health Center.
Please contact Ray Whitaker, Coordinator of Elder Fitness and Services at the YMCA of Martha's Vineyard
111R Edgartown Vineyard Haven Rd., Oak Bluffs MA 02568
(P) 508 696 7171 ext 121 (C) 508-693-1676 (F) 508 696 6806
(E)  (W) (S)

New Matter of Balance programs start on October 24th- Island Health Center.
Contact Kathleen Samways, Director of  of QI and Enabling Services  - 774-327-9526 

Coalition for Falls Prevention                                                                                                
HA-MV Forms a Coalition for Falls Prevention

J ust in time for the national celebration of Falls Prevention Day on September 22nd, HA-MV brought eleven island organizations together to begin a year-long effort to reduce the number and rate of falls among island elders.
Members of this Coalition include:  
  • The four island Councils on Aging; 
  • VNA of Cape Cod and the Islands; 
  • MV Community Services; 
  • Island Health Center;
  • Vineyard Medical Clinic; 
  • Town Health Agents representing the six town Boards of Health; 
  • NAACP; 
  • several Town Library directors,
  • Director of MV Hospital's Wellness and Rehabilitation Department, 
  • YMCA.
During the month - long celebration, each of the organizations highlighted current efforts to reduce falls, such as the Tai Chi and Yoga programs at the COAs, and the Matter of Balance and other exercise programs at the Y.  Over 500 copies of the VNA's brochure on Preventing Falls were distributed island-wide, to librairies, COAs, Phsician offices, etc., and additional copies will be distributed in the future.
Also, three members of the Coalition - Lorna Andrade from the NAACP, Myra Stark from the Cancer Support Group, and Paddy Moore from HA-MV spoke with Bob Tankard on a special Tank Talk program on Falls Prevention.  Information concerning the dates and times of that program will be published by the middle of October.
In the next six weeks, Coalition members will be developing year-long plans to strengthen island efforts to reduce falls, and particularly to educate islanders about the causes of falls and how to avoid them.  Stay tuned for future information!
This Month's Resources                                                                                                   
Falls Prevention Information (Internet Resources)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)-Older Adult Falls
  • National Council on Aging: Center for Healthy Aging
  • MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs-Find Your Local Elder Care Agency
Call the MA Department of Public Health's Falls Prevention Information Line    
Photos and Videos                                                                                                   

Winners of the 2016 Falls Free Photo Contest 

  Falls Prevention is so important for all of us.

Check out  this animated video entitled Six Steps to Prevent a Fall from the National Council on Aging.

Tisbury Senior Center - Health Fair                                                                                                 

Tisbury Senior Center's 3rd Annual Health Fair

Find out about health services available to Island seniors, and be sure to stop by the FirstStop MV table:

Wednesday, October 13
4 PM - 6 PM
34 Pine Tree Rd, Vineyard Haven

More information on

The Tisbury Senior Center is a community center offering a broad range of group and individual activities and services to serve the needs and interests of those adults who are 55 and older, as well as their families.

We are non-profit and non-sectarian, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of our seniors by ensuring them equal access to social, economic and political systems in a safe, secure and comfortable environment. We provide an arena in which our seniors can play a role in human services, leadership, education and as keepers of our history.

Our center was built in 1991. It is fully air-conditioned in the summer months and we have plenty of parking for all visitors.We have rooms to accommodate small gatherings as well as large community events and productions. A large kitchen allows us to host cooking classes as well as community meals. A congregate lunch is available M-F, all year. In nice weather, the outside deck serves as a place of relaxation. Our center welcomes all ages to visit and share time and talents, so our seniors remain integrated with the general population.

This Sunday October 9th.  Don't miss it.                                                                                              

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