Avoid a fall, improve your balance

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Seniors with fears about falling or even those who have had a fall, now have a new opportunity to improve their balance.

While on a walk in April, Susie Shave fell down and couldn’t get back up.

“It was scary not, to know that you might be somebody who would be on the floor in the house or outside and fall and not be able to do anything about it,” Shave said.

Those fears aren’t uncommon according to Karla Cazer, who instructs Sanford Health’s Matter of Balance class, focused on managing concerns about falls.

“What people often do is tense up. They aren’t as active. They stay home more and with COVID, you know, people are staying home and they need to, but they aren’t as active. And when we don’t use it, we lose it. For sure,” Cazer said.

She says the class caters to people 60 years old and up, providing information to people with a moderate fall risk or those who simply have concerns.

“We’re looking at how can you control your falling? How can you change that feeling to be more confident? How can you change your environment to be safer? How can you increase your activity so that you would, have more strength, a little more endurance?” Cazer said.

The class offers a time to share concerns in a small group, tips for a safer home and exercises geared towards building strength and flexibility.

“There’s a lot of seated exercises where we really get the range of motion going. We, I mean, our upper body really impacts our lower body and our balance, and sometimes we don’t think of that,” Cazer said.

After completing the 8 sessions of the class, Shave graduated with better balance and more confidence.

She hopes by sharing her story that others will take action.

“Don’t hesitate if you think you’ve got balance problems. If you’ve fallen recently, number one, make sure you let somebody know,” Shave said.

To learn more about “A Matter of Balance”, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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