'Be Safe in Your Home' is topic of senior college program

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BETHEL — “Be Safe in Your Home” will be presented from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Bethel Congregational Church, 32 Church St. The program is sponsored by To Your Health of Western Mountains Senior College in response to requests from participants at past programs.

Jackie Cressy, presenter, said that more than 18,000 Americans die every year from injuries which take place in the home, making the home the second most common location for such fatalities. She added that unintentional injuries, no matter how mild or severe, result in an average of 21 million medical visits each year, about $220 billion in medical costs.

In the interactive presentation, Cressy will address two areas of concern: falls prevention and fire safety. Participants will become more aware of the common causes of falls and fires in the home and learn about easy changes to make their home much safer.

Cressy added, “You will have an opportunity to request installation of free smoke detectors for your home, courtesy of the Maine Red Cross and area fire departments in Newry, Greenwood, Woodstock and Bethel, with the assistance of trained local volunteers.”

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She said many materials for the presentation are provided through the National Fire Protection’s “Remembering When Program.”

Cressy will be assisted by Brie Weisman, OTR/L, an occupational therapist who will be available to answer questions about home safety.

An “Adaptive Tool Kit” will be on display, courtesy of the Age Friendly Community Initiative. There are tools and gadgets especially selected to make it easier to stay in one’s home.

Before coming to Bethel, Cressy had been a high school science teacher, worked as a sample bank coordinator for an environmental testing laboratory and served as a research librarian for the Systems Engineering Office of MITRE Corp. Since moving to Bethel in 1998, she has been a volunteer for a number of organizations and is now focused on the Age-Friendly Community Initiative.

The program is sponsored as a community service by To Your Health of Western Mountains Senior College with the collaboration of Bethel Family Health Center and SAD 44/Continuing Education.

The public is invited and admission is free. Light refreshments will be available. FMI: R. Tifft, 207-824-2053.

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