ROANOKE, Va. – Donna Turner is one of several participants who signed up for A Matter of Balance, a program at Carilion Clinic that takes a multifaceted approach to fall prevention.
“I want to decrease my chances of falling,” Turner said.
In 2015, Carilion admissions for falls surpassed all other reasons for traumatic admissions for the elderly in this area.
So Carilion trainers are teaching both physical and mental ways to avoid falling.
“I really encourage their physical ability. We do exercises every single time, and we come in to work on balance and stability,” said Carilion trainer Jill Lucas Drakeford.
In addition to exercise techniques like strengthening the wrists, trainers emphasize practical ways to help participants manage the fear of falling.
“If they're fearful about falling, then they reduce their social activities. They start to reduce their physical activities, and that's one of the worst things you can do,” Drakeford said.
Trainers are helping them to make changes to reduce fall risks at home.
“Our home is one of the most dangerous places, so that's why the things we focus on in this class is like making sure we are going through our homes,” Drakeford said.
The weekly program is free and is still enrolling participants.
For more information, you can go online to Carilionclinic.org/calendar.