Amy Bate, a health promotion coordinator at the Tooele County Health Department, runs a senior fall prevention class that according to her, is proven to reduce falls in the aging community.
Falls are one of the leading causes of injury, hospitalizations and death for older adults. According to the Utah Department of Health, falls can cause older adults to become fearful of falling again and lose their independence.
“Part of the problem is when someone has a fall, they really become fearful of falling,” Bate said. “They begin to limit their activity and that’s one of the worst things you could do because when you start to limit your activity, your muscles begin to weaken and your balance is off.”
The senior fall prevention course has been proven to reduce falls by 30% in older adults, and according to Bate, this is why the class is so important.
The seven-week class consists of one session per week. Each session builds on the previous and upon completion of the program, an incentive is provided to those who have finished.
“The class is free and for an incentive, we install grab bars in their homes when they complete the class,” Bate said. “This is a great motivator because it could be just the thing to prevent falls in their home.”
According to Bate, many health care professional guests attend the classes. Experts talk about vision, and practice exercises with participants, among many other things.
Bate said now is the best time to join her fall prevention course. She is willing to host a class wherever participants want, as long as eight individuals are enrolled.
Persons interested in joining the class or learning more can call the Tooele County Health Department 435-277-2300 or Bate directly at 435-849-7131. There is no fee to join the class.