The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will be hosting Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance Instructor Training workshops across Oklahoma. 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 help expand this program by teaching classes in their communities to help prevent injuries from falls, which are a growing public health problem nationally and in Oklahoma.
Falls are a threat to the health and safety of older adults and can reduce their ability to remain independent. An older adult dies from a fall every 20 minutes in the United States. In Oklahoma, nine older adults die and 124 are hospitalized from a fall-related injury every week. Acute care hospital charges alone total more than $275 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.
Free trainings will be held in Anadarko, Guymon, Pawnee and Waurika with a limited number of spots available. To enroll in a workshop, contact Avy Redus by phone at (405) 271-3430 or by email at AvyD@health.ok.gov.
Anadarko - June 25-26, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., First Baptist Church
Pawnee - July 10-11, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Pawnee Nation Multi-Purpose Building
Guymon - July 19-20, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., No Man’s Land Senior Center
Waurika - July 30-31, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Jefferson County OSU Extension Office
The OSDH offers the following tips to help prevent falls:
· Exercise regularly. Exercises, such as tai chi, 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 a vision screening at least once a year. Health conditions, such as glaucoma or cataracts, or the wrong prescription eyeglasses 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 both sides of 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.
To receive more information about classes and how to prevent falls, contact the OSDH Injury Prevention Service at (405) 271-3430 or visit http://falls.health.ok.gov.