The YMCA of the Northwoods was informed that they received a $1,000 grant from the CDC for a new Y initiative to prevent falls in their communities through the Moving for Better Balance program. “In the two counties we serve almost a fourth of the population is 65 years of age with almost 12 percent living along,” says Y Active Older Adult Coordinator, Marilyn Duschl. “This is an opportunity for the Y to provide staff training and program development for a very beneficial program for this population.”
YMCAs that have implemented this program in their communities believe that older adults overcome the fear of falling and fall less as they live stronger, healthier, more independent lives by participating in the Moving for Better Balance program. Participants in Moving for Better Balance increase their self-confidence, gain a sense of achievement, and improve their wellbeing in a safe environment. The supportive network of friends formed in the Moving for Better Balance program fosters a strong sense of belonging and leads to empowered, independent living older adults.
Approximately a third of all adults over 65 years of age fall at least once in a year. Half of those people who do fall consequently experience a serious setback in their quality of life. As lifespans continue to increase, the ability to maintain health, mobility and independence for as long as possible only becomes more important. Y’s can help older adults in their communities by helping prevent falls.
Moving for Better Balance is a falls prevention program that uses the principles and movements of Tai Chi in helping older adults improve their balance and increase their confidence in doing everyday activities. Through the benefits of the grant, staff from the YMCA of the Northwoods will receive training this fall and the program will be offered to the community beginning in January.
For more information about this program, or other Y active older adult programs, call Marilyn Duschl at (715) 362-9622, ext. 118.