Balance class helps seniors avoid falls

Local News
Some local senior citizens are getting help staying in their own homes, through a class aimed and helping them stay on their feet… literally.
Balance becomes an issue as we age, but there are simple things you can do to reduce your risk of falling.
Jeff, the instructor says, “We’ll do the good morning stretch. Bring ’em out, put ’em out there, take a deep breath, stretch a little more.”
Stretching does a body good.
Jeff says, “And first, we’re going to go to the right. Just need a couple of those grass skirts that are up there.”
These simple movements… and a little fun… are helping these seniors strengthen their muscles and improve their range of motions, so they reduce their risk of falling. That’s something Keith McCuddin has dealt with quite a few times.
It’s a common concern for folks as they age. Which is why this class, called “Matter of Balance” is offered through Siouxland PACE, a program of UnityPoint Health- St. Luke’s. During eight sessions like this one, aging adults learn simple exercises to keep them more steady on their feet.
Shirley Lowe says, “They had us rolling our shoulders back, and that helps; you don’t realize how that helps your shoulders.”
Keith says, “So many sidewalks are uneven and you watch your step so you don’t trip over them.”
They’re also learning ways to make their homes safer. That’s something Shirley’s taken away from the program after several falls. She wants to stay in her own home, but do so safely.
Jeff Pilgrim, PACE Instructor, says, “As far as in the house: If you have a lot of clutter, [you] need to get rid of that. De-clutter the house. Lighting in the home is important, you want to be able to see where you’re going. You don’t want loose rugs that you might slip on.”
It’s good advice for all of us. And, crucial for these folks to stay healthy and active.
If you’re curious how you get into a program like this, “Matter of Balance” is offered through Siouxland PACE.
PACE stands for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. It’s a program for frail individuals to maintain a good quality of life as long as possible. Usually, patients are referred by their doctor.
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