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'Stepping On' workshops help residents prevent falls; free May 28 session

3:26 PM, May 20, 2013  |  Comments
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One in every three adults over age 65 falls every year. But falling is not normal for older adults and older adults can learn how to take steps to prevent falls.

"Stepping On," a free workshop offered in Fond du Lac County, teaches older adults do just that. Research shows that adults who take the workshop gain confidence, reduce falls by over 30 percent and have fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

Eligible participants include:

? Individuals age 60 and over

? live-in their own homes or apartments

? do not rely on a walker, scooter, or wheelchair indoors most of the time

Falls can be physically, financially, and emotionally devastating. Fear of falling often limits older adults and results in reduced mobility and isolation. "The good news," says Sandy Tryon , Supervisor of the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), "is that people can learn how to prevent falls and can make the changes they need in their lives to reduce their risk. The Stepping On workshops are a wonderful complement to medical care, equipping older adults to take control of their lives and make the changes in their home and lifestyle to reduce their risk."

Stepping On workshops are delivered in seven 2-hour weekly sessions. They are taught by two certified leaders; either one or both are health care or aging network professionals and another is a peer leader who has already taken the workshop.

Five workshops will be offered at different dates and locations throughout in Fond du Lac County.

Workshop dates include:

? Tuesday, May 28-July 9 - Maximillians in Mt. Calvary

? Thursday, June 6-July 18 - Prairie Ridge Assisted Living in Waupun

? Wednesday, July 31-Sept. 11 - North Fond du Lac Community Center

? Tuesday, July 30-Sept. 10 - Ripon Senior Center

? Thursday, Sept. 19-Oct. 31 - Fond du Lac ADRC

"It is amazing to see the change that occurs after people go through the workshop," says Jamie Roth, certified "Stepping On" leader with All About Life Rehabilitation Center. "People are more confident, energetic, and have a new support system in place, all of which helps them lead a healthier life."

During the seven-week session, participants receive support from trained leaders and other workshop participants, learning strength and balance exercises, medications' impact on falls, vision, safe footwear, home modifications, and community safety.

Stepping On was created at the University of Sydney and was brought to the U.S. and Americanized by a University of Wisconsin geriatric physician and falls expert. It is supported by the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging. The state's goal is to reduce falls and put healthy options within reach for all Wisconsinites, and offering these self-management workshops is one way to ensure that older adults have the support they need to remain independent and healthy.

For information or to register for upcoming workshops in your area, call the ADRC at 929-3466.

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