Older Adult Falls

 

Senior Safety

Fall Prevention Programs

A matter of balance

A Matter of Balance is an 8-week structured group intervention that emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels.

There are four Matter of Balance sites in Washington: Olympia, Spokane, Seattle, and Wenatchee.

Virtual Matter of Balance classes will begin in Central Washington (Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Grant, Yakima and Kittitas counties) March, 2021. To learn more, please visit healthy aging for life or email Erin Cass.

Enhance fitness

EnhanceFitness is low-cost, evidence-based group falls prevention and physical activity program developed specifically for older adults.

EnhanceFitness was developed in Washington and is available in many areas of the state.

FallsTalk and FallScape

FallsTalk is an individual program for anyone who has experienced a fall or regular loss of balance; regardless of walking ability, medical condition, mobility or fitness level. FallScape consists of one or two training sessions with a set of brief (less than 1 min.) multimedia vignettes that are selected specifically to help an individual prevent falls in their own unique situation.

FallsTalk is offered in the Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern WA service area.

FallsTalk and FallScape are also available in other counties in Western WA.

The Otago exercise program

The Otago Exercise Program (OEP) is a series of 17 strength and balance exercises delivered by a Physical Therapist or a Physical Therapy Assistant in the home, outpatient or community setting that reduces falls between 35 and 40% for frail older adults.

Otago is available from PTs across Washington. DOH manages the Washington Otago Network for clinicians, agencies and organizations interested in offering and improving Otago in our state.

Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL)

 

Stay Active and Independent for life logo
Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) is a strength, balance and fitness program for adults 65 and older. Performing exercises that improve strength, balance and fitness are the single most important activity that adults can do to stay active and reduce their chance of falling.

SAIL was developed in Washington with DOH support. Check out SAIL or SAIL history for more information.

SAIL Videos are available online. It is recommended you consult with your primary care provider prior to starting SAIL classes.

Tai Chi for arthritis and falls prevention

 

Many studies have shown Tai Chi to be one of the most effective exercises for preventing falls. Tai Chi for Arthritis helps people with arthritis to improve all muscular strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, and more.

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is available in many areas of the state, see the program website for instructor listings.

Tai Ji Quan: moving for better balance

Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) is a evidence based fall prevention program specifically designed for balance training in older adults. Developed by Dr Fuzhong Li, PhD, a senior research scientist at the Oregon Research Institute, the unique TJQMBB training approach is the result of more than 15 years of research and community evaluation which culminated in a well-organized community based program which includes an 8-form core routine, practice variations and therapeutic subroutine. This nationally recognized fall prevention program is an enhancement of traditional Tai Chi transforming movements into therapeutic training for balance and mobility.

TJQMBB community based classes

Designed for older adults and people with balance disorders, TJQMBB is a leading exercise program for effective fall prevention. TJQMBB Community Based Classes are held twice a week for 24 weeks. Community based classes are approved for both virtual and in person delivery.

Betterbalance.net hosts all TJQMBB Instructor training courses and TJQMBB class locations.

TJQMBB class instructors

The 16 hour Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) Instructor Course is open to all community based instructors. No prior experience with Tai Chi is necessary. Scholarships are available. All TJQMBB class instructors have completed the 2 day training and teach the curriculum found in the TJQMBB Class Teaching Plan.

Instructor Training Course information and registration can be found at betterbalance.net

Publications

The 66 page spiral bound TJQMBB Class Teaching Plan guides instructors through each class and ensures fidelity to the research based program.

Research

TJQMBB Fall Prevention effectiveness is evidenced by randomized control trials that show a reduction in incidence of falls by 58% in community dwelling older adults and by 67% in people with Parkinson's disease. TJQMBB studies also show significant improvements in strength, balance, limits of stability, sensory orientation and functional mobility. The most recent Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT) “Effectiveness of a Therapeutic Tai Ji Quan Intervention vs a Multimodal Exercise Intervention to Prevent Falls Among Older Adults at High Risk of Falling.” was published in October 2018 in JAMA Internal Medicine. You can access this study and a complete list of publications on their website.

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