Seniors prepare to fall

By: Ashley Prchal Email
By: Ashley Prchal Email

MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) - The Mesa County Health Department is introducing a new program that will help seniors take back control of their balance and hopefully cut down the number of falls they have.

Elsie Halvorson is 100 years old. She has been living at Larchwood Inns Rehab for two years, because she fell and broke her instep.

Doctors told Elsie she was falling because she didn't have any balance.

"I was afraid not to take care of myself because I might break a hip or something," says Halvorson.

Carole Smidt is a Public Health Nurse with the Mesa County Health Department and says falls are the leading cause of injury among senior citizens. Mike Page with the Grand Junction Fire Department says fifteen percent of all their EMS calls are from seniors falling.

That's why next year the Health Department is introducing a new class for seniors. A class designed to help people who have either fallen or have limited their activities because they're afraid of falling.

Matter of Balance classes are designed to address seniors' fears of falling and teach them how to fall so they avoid serious injuries. The class involves a lot of discussion about the risk factors for falling and teaches seniors how to control their bodies.

While Elsie's falls have left her injured and dedicated to physical therapy, class organizers are hoping others will learn how to stop themselves before they lose their step.

The Matter of Balance program will begin early next year, but for now the Health Department is looking for volunteers to learn the program and guide seniors. If you're interested in volunteering, contact Carole Smidt at 248-6914.

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