Friday, May 13, 2016

Falling Friday - Did My Falls Prevention Class Work?

Falls remain a killer, especially to the senior population.

A little more than a year ago, I took a falls prevention class - a program started up in Australia back in the 1980's. We were taught exercises, heard guest speakers, were taught techniques to get up after a fall by two physical therapists, learned how to walk on uneven surfaces, and listened to each other's falling stories. So, a year later, this is a good time to ask - did the program work?

I don't know the statistics for my fellow attendees, all of whom were older, and many of whom suffered from eye issues such as macular degeneration.

For me, though:

I have continued to do the exercises, although I haven't progressed in them the way I should have (i.e. I am doing fewer reps than I should be doing now.  And, I am not using the weights I purchased for two of the exercises.  Shame on me).  I do wonder at the percentage of people who keep at the exercises.  As they say, "use it or lose it". It's true.

Knock on wood, I have not fallen in the past year, and I think those exercises helped.  Being able to "tightrope walk" is a matter of strength in the lower legs and that has improved.

Because of our mild winter, I don't know if the increase in balance helped with walking with snow and ice on the ground.

I am not testing myself monthly for macular degeneration (now, where is that special refrigerator magnet?  Shame on me again, it takes just seconds a month to test.)

And, I remain fortunate to live in an upstate New York community with a robust set of programs for (although a definite lack of good senior housing) the benefit of its seniors.

I may never walk a real tightrope.

But growing old is an experience in so much, including balance.   I may eventually explore other options for exercise besides my walking, such as yoga.  But for now, I am satisfied that the Stepping On program made a difference in my life.

I would highly recommend a falls prevention program to anyone who has fallen, or has balance issues.

Do you want to see "Falling Friday" start up again?

12 comments:

  1. I took a spill on my bicycle this past winter. One like I had taken many times before (often, assisted by a push from a vehicle in my lane). But, this one left me with more permanent reminders.
    The aging of bones...

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  2. Thats interesting. We do not have such programs here. My mom is prone to falling down and has had two falls in the past year more because of her eyesight. But I can see this could be helpful for her.

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    1. Many of the people in my class had vision difficulties - most, but not all, macular degeneration. Falling is finally getting the attention it deserves. The talk the vision specialist gave was enlightening and, I think, gave information we could all use.

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  3. Fall prevention! Sounds like something I need after 3 concussions!
    Keep doing the good work and I'll start exercising more...

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    1. Which reminds me, I'm still having to do today's exercises.

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  4. I think I need fall prevention! We moved to a house that has steps...just a few--going up to the bonus room and coming in from the garage.But I've already fallen three times in a year. Fortunately, it hasn't been bad enough to cause serious injury yet, but I am trying to go slower when I walk up and down the steps here!

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    1. We were taught to slow down and be more mindful. Us telling each other our falling stories was most educational.

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  5. Glad you haven't fallen. Maybe you need to restart the Falling Fridays just to keep yourself on program.

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    1. I'm going to restart the feature, Liz. I don't want to lose what I have gained from the exercises, and it seems to strike a chord in some of my readers.

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  6. who'd have thought we'd be discussing "falling"? Where has the time gone and what happened to being able to bounce back when we tripped over? Now we do everything we can to avoid falling to save the long term after effects! Glad the class paid off for you :)

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    1. Thank you. Aging has brought many surprises. Some are good. Some are not. But some of it is reversible.

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