SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As we age, the fear of falling may begin to rise. But local experts say falls can be prevented with some simple steps.
After undergoing a knee replacement surgery, Elaine Frary says her fear of falling was impacting her daily life.
“I was afraid to leave the house and it became much safer for me to just sit in my chair in the living room and that’s not a good thing,” Frary said.
To help ease her fear, Frary joined A Matter of Balance through Sanford Health.
“This class that we’re shooting for is emphasizing strategies to manage a fall. Leaning back, you know, falls are controllable, helping these individuals to set goals for increasing their general activity, making changes to reduce falls at home and then to exercise, to increase strength and balance,” Natalie Fick said.
Physical therapist Natalie Fick says falls are preventable, and this class is helping get that message across.
“For the most part, we can more than likely reduce your risk of falls, whether through exercise, strength, training, going through and modifying things in the home,” Fick said.
Since the class, Frary says she has modified things in her home, including where cords and rugs are.
She also says using a cane or walker isn’t a bad thing, instead, it gives you more independence.
“And as you gain more confidence, and you don’t need them that’s a good thing. But you need to use them for a while to gain that confidence,” Frary said.
With her fear of falling gone, and confidence back, Frary is now a volunteer for A Matter of Balance.
“Hearing about our program, was very excited, to utilize that opportunity to help teach and encourage other community members on reducing their fear of falls,” Fick said.
While reaching out for help isn’t always easy, both Fick and Frary encourage people who want to lower their risk of falling to join A Matter of Balance.
The class is open to anyone in the community, and is aimed at people 60 and older.
COVID-19 has impacted the operation of the class, but a wait-list is available.
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