For Release: July 19, 2016 – Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will be hosting Tai Chi instructor training workshops across Oklahoma.
The classes will be held on the following dates:
Altus Aug. 10-11 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Jackson County Health Department.
Elk City Aug. 23-24 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Beckham County Health Department.
Alva Sept. 12-13 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Woods County Health Department.
Durant Sept. 27-28 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Bryan County Health Department.
Individuals who successfully complete this two-day workshop will be qualified to lead Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance classes. Participants will be expected to expand this program by teaching classes in their communities to help prevent injuries from preventable falls, which are a growing public health problem nationally and in Oklahoma.
Nationally, falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in every age group except ages 15-24 years, and are the leading cause of injury death among adults 65 years and older. Every year in Oklahoma, about 7,000 older adults are hospitalized, and more than 450 die from a fall. Acute care hospital charges alone total more than $250 million a year.
Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance is an evidence-based fall prevention program for community-based organizations. This exercise program focuses on improving functional abilities, such as balance and physical function, to help reduce fall-related risks and the frequency of falls.
The OSDH offers the following tips on simple things you can do to help prevent falls:
Exercise regularly. Exercises that improve strength, balance and coordination are the most helpful in lowering the risk of fall related injuries.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist to review both prescription and over-the-counter medications to monitor side effects and interactions. The way medications work in the body can change with age. Some medications or combinations of medications can contribute to drowsiness or dizziness, which may increase the risk of falling.
Have vision screenings at least once a year. The wrong prescription eyeglasses or health conditions, such as glaucoma or cataracts, limit vision and may increase the risk of falling.
Reduce hazards in the home that may lead to fall-related injuries. Keep floors clean and clear of clutter where people walk. Maintain adequate lighting throughout the home, especially near stairways. Remove throw rugs or use non-skid throw rugs in the home, and use non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower. Install handrails on stairways and grab bars in bathrooms. Keep items needed for regular use in easy-to-reach places that don’t require the use of a step stool.
This falls prevention project is supported by federal dollars from the Preventive Health Services division within Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant # 2B01DP009043).