Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

GR seniors learn how to prevent falls

 

Star photo by Stephanie Thompson

Jan Scott, learns the movements in the Golden Hour Senior Center's Better, Balance, Training fall-prevention class are a lot like the tai chi class she takes.

The students were moving slowly. Following the instructions of the instructor.

Listening on how to do the moves properly; and then trying to do them.

All of this was taking place at the Golden Hour Senior Center's Better, Balance, Training class Monday afternoon.

GHSC activities coordinator Megan Brown said this class moves slow and focuses on ways to move without falling. She said falling is common in any age group, but seniors seem to have more broken bones or fractures from those falls.

Brown started the 10-week classes last week, which is through the Centers for Disease Control and Wyoming Public Health, but was already happy with the turnout. Three classes are offered. One on Mondays at 2 p.m., one on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., and one on Fridays at 2 p.m., and seniors are encouraged to start taking the classes anytime. She said they are encouraged to start now, but can come to any of them.

"It was so exciting," she said. "The seniors actually really seemed excited."

Brown said the Monday class will start taking place at the Green River Aquatics Center's therapy pool in April. However, class participants will still meet at the GHSC first. She said this way all of them can carpool if they want to. 

Currently, the seniors are meeting in the exercise room at the GHSC. They use chairs to help them with their balance. Brown shows them how to do the muscle-strengthening moves with the aid of the chair. Even though the class is only a half an hour long, the seniors were already noticing a difference.

"They don't recognize that they are losing their ankle strength," Brown said.

However, most have learned that already. She said a couple of the class participants had told her how sore their ankles were after the class. As the classes continue, the level of activity does as well, but they will always go slow.

Brown is teaching them how to walk, how to stand and how to get up from a sitting position properly. These things sound simple, but all of them are causes of falls as people stray from the correct way of doing them.

"I'm a little nervous," Brown said. "It's the first time I've taught a class."

She doesn't let the nervousness stop her because she knows it's for the seniors. It's about getting them comfortable learning new things that will help them.

Some of the seniors may be anxious about going to the aquatics center. A lot of people do not like being seen in swimsuits and seniors are no different. Brown said an aquatics center representative told the seniors they could wear gym shorts and a T-shirt over there swimsuits if it made them more comfortable.

Brown told the Monday class when they push themselves at the aquatics center it will not be such a big deal if they fall. If they fall in the water, they can just get back up without injury.

As Brown continued the class, she told the seniors everything they are learning in the class can be done at home in front of their kitchen counter. She would like the seniors to get into the habit of doing the exercises themselves at home.

"Everyone falls," Brown said. "But anyone can get better with this fall-prevention class."

 

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