Genesis Program Helps Older Adults Prevent Falls

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Falls are the leading cause of accidental death for older Americans.

The Genesis Fall Prevention Program helps older adults improve their level of strength and flexibility so they can limit the risk of serious injuries from a fall and can better perform daily tasks.

The next eight-week program will begin May 24. The class will meet from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays at Genesis Medical Park, Maplecrest, 2535 Maplecrest Road, Bettendorf.  To register, call certified therapeutic recreation specialists Diane Dittmer Johnson or Jennifer Hovey at (563) 421-1440.

"Falls are common and can be very dangerous and can increase the risk of death in people 65 years and older. This class makes a very nice birthday, Father's Day or anniversary gift for parents or friends,'' said Diane Dittmer Johnson.  "In the class we teach a number of exercises, activities and safety tips for the home to prevent falls.''

Functional fitness assessment tests given to participants before and after the 16 sessions have shown increases in agility, coordination, strength and standing balance. Cost of the eight-week program will be $100.

Falls among older adults is a serious issue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some facts:

One of three adults age 65 and older falls each year Among those 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury death and are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma

Death rates from falls among older men and women have risen sharply over the past decade Treatment and medical costs from falls are more than $15 billion annually

The CDC recommends specific exercises, a review of medications to prevent dizziness or drowsiness, updated eye examinations and an evaluation of homes to prevent tripping hazards.  All of those topics are discussed as part of the Genesis Fall Prevention Program classes.