Newman Regional Health

Area seniors will have the chance to learn about fall prevention when a program offered by Newman Regional Health begins next week.

Stepping On is a seven week program running from 1 - 3 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 22. The program is designed to teach seniors about strengthening exercises, bone health, keeping active and more.

“The Stepping On program combines participants and their life experiences with the expertise of community professionals,” Bridget Camien, trauma program manager and Stepping On instructor, said. “Each week we discuss new topics and bring in experts of the community.”

Stepping On was developed by professional geriatric practitioners and researchers at the University of Sydney Australia, during which 310 elders aged 70 and older, who had a fall in the previous 12 months or were concerned about falls, participated in a randomized 14-month trial. The program is proven to decrease a person’s fall risk by 31 percent.

Camien said the program is designed for people ages 60 and older who live independently, and helps give people the confidence to stay independent after a fall.

“With the support of your Stepping On group, the community experts and class leaders, you will be able to better identify and handle the fall risks in your life so that you can continue to live independently,” she said.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, individuals who have “had a fall in the last year or have a fear of falling and are cognitively intact and able to move independently on own or with assistance (cane or walker)” should also consider attending.

“One in four individuals over the age of 65 fall each year,” Camien said. “After a fall, individuals are usually fearful to resume their regular activities which actually increases their risk of falling again.”

Camien said those interested in signing up for the program can do so by stopping by the hospital’s registration desk just inside entrance C.

“The form can then either be brought back to registration or mailed back,” she said.

Those with questions about the program are encouraged to call Camien at 343-6800.

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