Teaching seniors how to prevent falls

Iowa seniors are learning to stand on their own two feet.

Stepping On is a seven-week courses based on research from the University of Wisconsin. The program focuses on building upper body strength and balance and teaches seniors about fall risk factors such as sufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium, wearing appropriate shoes, exercising to improve balance, checking prescriptions for side effects and getting into a car.

“I always just got into the car,” says Fay Strayer, a 90-year-old Oaknoll Retirement Community resident to The Gazette. “I never thought about how you get into one. I never really worried about (falling), but now I think about it.”

The program is designed to help seniors stay independent longer. The Visiting Nurses Association of Johnson County in Iowa City, Iowa, started teaching the program in 2015 and recently expanded to quarterly session offerings.  

The association has partnered with the area geriatric clinic and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to refer at-risk seniors to the program. 

Topics: Clinical