Falls are the number one cause of preventable death in Spokane


SPOKANE, Wash. -It may be hard to believe, but the leading cause of death in Spokane is falling. More deadly than drug overdoses and car accidents. But one assisted living home is helping their seniors avoid bad falls.

Everyone has seen the commercials that show an elderly person yelling for help after a fall. Even seniors laugh about it. It wasn't until Jane Goertzen actually fell that it was no longer a laughing matter.

"Can I get up? Or do I need to press my button for a lifeline?" Goertzen said.

Over the past three years, the Spokane County Coroner reported that 552 people have died from falling.

Sullivan Park Assisted Living is doing something they're hoping will save their seniors from becoming victims.

"Today, actually, a lady told me she was about to fall over the weekend, and was able to catch herself," Justin Graff said.

Graff has been working as a wellness coach, training seniors how to maintain their agility and balance.

"Once it's gone, it's hard to get it back," Graff said.

It's simple tests that Graff put together to determine if his client needs to work on their strength, and with the shocking number we saw from the coroner, his results aren't surprising.

"So far, I have seen zero people pass completely," Graff said.

But each week, he's seen his clients improve their ability to get more reps in, hold their balance longer, or catch themselves before they fall.

"Everyone has enjoyed it a lot and they think it's beneficial for them," Graff said.

Sullivan Park is offering a new campaign, "Stepping Into Better Health." Any senior is encouraged to come take the fall test, for free. With their wellness coaches, after the evaluation, you will be offered five free exercise fall reduction classes.

If you'd like to schedule a free "fall test," for either yourself, a loved one, or a friend call 509-924-5555.

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