AU Health finds one way to teach senior citizens about the dangers of falling

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 6:29 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Something as simple as falling seems minor, but it’s a big concern for seniors.

AU Health says a quarter of their trauma patients over 55 are hospitalized because they fell. As a result, they are out educating seniors on how to protect themselves. So how do they do it? Bingo.

Bingo is a kind of a senior adult’s expertise. So the thought here was to get them out of the house and teach them a new way to play their favorite game.

Parking lot bingo is the game you never thought you’d want, but it’s definitely the game they needed.

Pecola Campbell came to the Burke County Senior Citizens Center with her neighbor, Ben.

She’s a fierce bingo player.

“It’s my time now!” Campbell said.

But her friends are having better luck at parking lot bingo.

“Some of them I have not seen since last February,” Campbell said.

“Without the senior citizens, we’re lost,” fellow senior citizen Johnny Roundtree said. “Nothing to do.”

Roundtree says he’s spent six months in his house, so sitting behind a steering wheel is better than his recliner.

“I’m just happy to be here with all my friends,” Roundtree said.

This isn’t your ordinary bingo. Each square teaches these seniors fall prevention.

“If they stay inside, they are getting more inactive,” Patricia Newsome with AU Health said. “They are not getting out. They aren’t exercising, because they are fearing falling.”

Newsome came up with this idea to get them out of the house safely.

“They just honk their horn when they have bingo,” Newsom said.

After the rain, and seemingly countless honks, Campbell’s friend Ben won.

The fun ended early because of the rain but most everyone left with a prize and a smile on their face.

Unfortunately, AU says today was the last scheduled parking lot bingo. But they are thinking about scheduling more because it went so well.

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