By Jamie Leary

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – A first-of-it’s-kind program in the country is helping seniors make strides in fall prevention. Literally.

Through a three week course, seniors work on fall prevention strategies. It not only features lectures from local experts, it also includes an obstacle course.

(credit: Lutheran Medical Center)

“The first is a lecture component that explains all the risks of fall but it’s very much an intellectual exercise. Then we have Nymbl Science. It gets you an app on a mobile device that teaches you balance. Then, we get you on an obstacle course three times that trains your body around 26 different obstacle avoidance strategies,” said Chuck Ault, the Regional Director Community Health Improvement SCL Health.

(credit: Lutheran Medical Center)

The obstacle course makes a fun and effective way to build muscle memory for everyday obstacles that could cause a fall.

“Essentially, our obstacle course recreates those 26 most common ways that a person is going to fall down so uneven surfaces, slippery surfaces…” said Ault.

(credit: Lutheran Medical Center)

The program is free and focused in areas of Jefferson County where research shows there are a high number of patients coming into the medical center due to injuries from falls. Lutheran Medical Center says it’s the number two reason people come to its emergency room.

Arvada Fire is a program partner. It says falls are the number one call received by its emergency medical services.

(credit: Lutheran Medical Center)

“It’s fixable. We can fix a lot of this. In doing this more and having people share this information with their friends and family, we can hopefully cut down those numbers of incidents that we’re seeing every day,” said Amber Jones, the Community Risk Reduction Specialist for Arvada Fire.

Although the first 3-week course was a pilot program, it was so successful that there are plans to bring it back regularly.

(credit: Lutheran Medical Center)

“In our pilot, we’ve seen improvement! Vast improvement for individuals in their mobility and in their balance,” said Alt.

If you are interested in participating in the next course, call Chuck Alt at 303-812-4897.

Jamie Leary


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