Plans are under way in 21 states for National Falls Prevention Awareness Day on Tuesday, the first day of fall. National Council on Aging leads the Falls Free Coalition, a national network dedicated to reducing the number of falls among older adults. The following are personal risk factors:

People who have fallen before are more likely to fall again.

Fear of falling can be helpful if it causes you to take reasonable precautions, but it can be harmful when it causes you to avoid exercise and other daily activities that keep you active, strong and healthy.

Decreased hand strength can put you at greater risk for falling because you may have difficulty catching yourself or carrying objects safely.

Problems with eyesight can make it difficult to see things you can trip over.

Hearing is closely associated with balance. Get your hearing tested by your health care provider or by an audiologist.

Painful foot problems can cause you to walk slowly and differently, increasing your chance of falling.

A strong stride and good balance are key to preventing falls. Consider using a cane or other assistive device to help you feel steadier.

Arm and leg weakness can make it harder for you to navigate your environment.

Incontinence can increase your chances of falling if you are anxious and rush to get to the bathroom.

Dizziness increases your chance of falling because it causes disorientation and even fainting.

Certain medications can increase your chance of falling because of side effects such as dizziness, confusion and low blood pressure.

Sleeping pills can cause dizziness, confusion and a "hang-over" feeling that increases chances of falling.

Proper well-fitting footwear with low, flat and wide heels provide the sturdiest footing. Shoes also should have non-skid soles.

Shorten ties and cords to prevent tripping on them.

Slippers and socks with rubber tread bottoms help prevent slipping.

Annual bazaar set for Oct. 17

The 43rd Annual Senior Citizens Bazaar is scheduled for Oct. 17. Tables are still available. To reserve a table to sell your wares, call Twila Ellis at 275-7218. Volunteers will be needed the day of the bazaar; call Patti or Barbara at 272-3620.

Garcia's Buff Project on Wii

Interested in learning about the Wii? Matt Garcia will be doing his Buff Project on the Wii.

For all senior citizens out there who would like to learn how to play the Wii, classes will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursdays, with the first class on Sept. 24. If you are interested in joining the fun, sign up at the Senior Center or call 272-3620.

Scheduled activities

Thursday: TOPS will meet at 8:30 a.m. Art class will meet at 10 a.m. Ambassador Singers will practice at 1 p.m. Low Vision Support Group program will be "You Don't Need A Computer To See." Call Tara Kessling at Fry Eye Low Vision, 275-7248, to reserve a seat.

Friday: Line dancing starts at 8:30 a.m. STEPS exercise class is at 10:30 a.m. St. Catherine Hospital will offer a senior health services nurse to do screenings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge is played at 1 p.m.

Saturday: The pool room will be open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday: Duplicate bridge is played at 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Walking Group meets at 8:30 a.m. at Valley View. STEPS exercise class is at 10:30 a.m. Humdinger Band will practice at 12:30 p.m. Contract bridge and double pinochle are played at 1 p.m. RSVP Board will meet at 1:10 p.m. UpBeats Band will practice at 3 p.m. Duplicate bridge is played at 7 p.m.

Tuesday (National Fall Awareness Day): Pitch is played at 12:45 p.m. Bingo for prizes will begin at 1:30 p.m. Cost is three cards for 50 cents. Duplicate bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. Bridge is played at 7 p.m.

Sept. 23: Foot clinic appointments begin at 8 a.m. Line dancing is at 8:30 a.m. (call 272-3620 for more information about exercise programs). STEPS exercises are at 10:30 a.m. Pinochle is played at 12:45 p.m. The Sewing Group meets from 1 to 4 p.m. The "More in Word" computer class with Carol Ham, Garden City Community College instructor, will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sign up at the center; space is limited. The Senior Citizens Association will host a dance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The band playing is "Calhouns." Bring cookies for the break.

Lunch menu

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Sausage and gravy, mashed potatoes, tomatoes, pears, biscuit.

Friday (fresh fruit Friday): Chuckwagon steak with bun, potato wedge, cucumbers and onion salad, pineapple.

Monday: Baked ham, cauliflower and peas, gingered carrots, applesauce, whole wheat roll.

Tuesday: Salisbury steak, potatoes with gravy, spinach, bread pudding with lemon sauce, whole wheat bread.

Sept. 23: Spaghetti and meat sauce, tossed salad, beets, peaches, French bread.

Visit the Senior Center Web site at