MANNING, 8/31/16- Fall prevention students from the Manning area are gathering weekly at the local senior center and taking steps to keep taking steps. The Stepping On workshop is a seven-week series put on by the Elderbridge Agency on Aging running through October 5.
With falls being the single greatest cause of injury among seniors, many are turning to fall prevention classes as a way of avoiding future injuries. Amber Schulze and Taylor Boyle of Elderbridge’s Carroll office, meet with participants to discuss ways elders can reduce their risk of fall-related injuries. Through exercises, demonstrations and open forum discussion, people are able to actively learn about how seemingly small steps can lead to a much greater level of independence, mobility, and all-around wellness.
In the open forum, participants were able to raise specific questions and find answers about increasing their mobility and safety while on their feet. Questions about terrain, ice, vehicle entry and exits as well as others were all addressed by Schulze and Boyle.
The Elderbridge team even brought a number of products to demonstrate how they are able to help prevent or lessen the damage done by a fall. Products like canes, alert systems, grips, and weights for strength training were all showcased and demonstrated.
“The ultimate goal”, says Schulze, “is to facilitate the older person to take control of their everyday lives”
Jamie Blum, of Blum Physical Therapy in Manning led seniors in a few simple exercises that they can do in their homes to improve strength and balance. These included leg lifts with and without weights and stepping exercises. Blum also demonstrated ways to ease getting in and out of seats while maintaining balance and safe ways of recovering from a fall.
“As we age, our balance decreases. We want to retrain our strength and balance so we can reduce our risk of falls,” she said.
Blum explained ways people can help reduce their risk of falls, “Individuals can increase their strength and increase their balance through exercises, they can also increase their awareness of where their risks are: what situations are the more likely to; what situations do they need to modify to decrease their risk of falls?”
Participants have even noted feeling more energy and confidence on their feet after only a few weeks of the program. One may even say they seem more confident and can stand firmly for more independent, safer living.