Better Your Balance: Virtual falls prevention programs available next week
For the Tomahawk Leader
WISCONSIN – ADRC of Central Wisconsin (ADRC-CW), Aspirus, Marshfield Clinic, ADRC of Portage County, and the Regional Trauma Advisory Council (RTAC) have partnered to offer two virtual programs on preventing falls.
“Falls are very common, with one in four older adults experiencing a fall every year,” ADRC-CW said in a release. “Whether you’ve lost your balance, slipped on ice, or missed the last step, a slip, trip or fall can have serious consequences, especially as we get older.”
ADRC-CW noted that while it’s not possible to completely prevent a fall from happening, there are ways to reduce risk. Understanding common risk factors in home environments, such as throw rugs and clutter, and incorporating exercises that focus on balance and strength can help prevent falls.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and Wisconsin winter weather have also brought about many challenges for our caregiver population,” ADRC-CW said. “As caregivers, we may find it harder and harder to support our loved ones from a distance, while implementing social distancing measures.”
A quick phone call or “check-in” can be helpful, especially to the older adult population who are at higher risk for falls, ADRC-CW pointed out, adding that emergency rooms and medical providers continue to report a high rate of falls, with many falls being more severe.
“The good news: Although these challenges exist, there are still many things that you can do in the comfort of your own home to improve strength and balance, keep your home safer and reduce the chance that you will find yourself or your loved ones on the floor,” ADRC-CW stated. “Contrary to what you may have heard, older adults, at any age, have great capacity in improving their strength and balance.”
Two virtual program opportunities will be available:
- Tuesday, March 23 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (via Zoom) for caregivers or those caring for a loved one
- Thursday, March 25 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (via Zoom) for older adults
Physical therapists from Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic will discuss strength and balance exercises for falls and what to do in the event of a fall. Risk factors for falls and how to modify home environments to reduce risk will also be discussed.
Registration is required for both events. Visit www.adrc-cw.org/falls/ or call 1-888-486-9545 to register. Those with no internet or device capable of accessing the internet can join by phone. Registration deadlines are March 19 (if registering by phone) and March 24 (if registering online).