Balance is crucial for avoiding falls as we age

Impaired balance brings with it a higher risk of falling and all that a fall can entail. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the No. 1 cause of both injury and death in older adults. State data indicate that the rate of fall-related death and injury is increasing among both men and women and in all age groups 65 and older. But falling isn’t inevitable, and several programs in WNC are working to reduce the number of falls older adults experience, helping avoid injury and boosting quality of life.

Trinity United Methodist Church meeting

West Asheville needle exchange, free café raise community complaints

Some say The Steady Collective, Firestorm Books and Coffee, Kairos West Community Center and 12 Baskets Café have reduced the area’s safety by offering services to drug users and homeless clients. The Asheville Police Department has claimed that the number of complaints filed in the neighborhood — including drug use, trespassing and syringes discarded on a nearby playground — have risen dramatically in recent months.

City Council member Julie Mayfield, top left, poses with members of the Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment as they hold energy-efficient LED light bulbs given away as part of the city's Energy Efficiency Day 2017.

SACEE votes on 100 percent green electricit­y goal for Asheville

The plurality of Asheville city government’s greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal year 2017 — roughly 9,100 tons — came from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, to create electricity. That number could drop to zero by the end of the next decade, however, should Asheville adopt a resolution currently under development by the city’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment.

Buncombe County considers needle exchange program

Two local agencies, the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville and The Steady Collective, provide clean needles and other supplies to help reduce the negative health effects of habitual drug use in Western North Carolina. Now Buncombe County is considering starting a program of its own to combat an increase in diseases transmitted by reusing and sharing needles.

Yancey County adult day care illuminate­s concerns for aging population

Family members who depend on Heritage Adult Day Retreat in Burnsville to provide a safe, stimulating daytime environment for loved ones with disabilities and dementia face a potential interruption or closure of the resource. With state funding for adult day care flat and the need continuing to grow, 40 similar programs have closed across the state since 2007.

Asheville hairstylin­g brings people together and sets them apart

When it comes to hair, Asheville is “anything goes,” says Jami Redlinger, Best of WNC Hall of Famer for Hairstylist and co-owner of The Middy. But beneath that diversity, she explains, is a unifying theme: self-expression. “I feel like there’s a lot of really creative people here, so people want to get really creative with their hair, too.”

Caiyalynn Burrell Child Crisis Center opens in Asheville

Since Caiyalynn Burrell’s tragic death from an overdose in 2014, agencies from across the region and the state have come together to find new ways to help children and teens in crisis receive the help they need. The Caiyalynn Burrell Child Crisis Center is now open at 277 Biltmore Ave. in Asheville to respond to psychiatric crises in a supportive, holistic and peaceful environment that also helps patients connect to community resources throughout their treatment and recovery.