To help prevent falls, Southern NSW Local Health District is again encouraging older people to take part in the Stepping On program.
The free, community-based program, provided by NSW Health, is considered to be one of the most effective falls prevention initiatives, giving older people the confidence and independence to undertake their everyday activities more safely.
Occupational Therapist and Stepping On facilitator, Leah Epistola, is looking forward to running the program at the Bungendore Community Centre commencing Wednesday 20 February 2019 from 12.30pm to 2.30pm.
An average of one third of people aged 65 years or older fall at least once a year. Falls are a major contributor to immobility, premature nursing home placement, and long-term care. The good news is that falls amongst older people can be prevented, even in the frail.
“Many people do not realise how prevalent and detrimental falls can be to your health,” Mrs Epistola said.
“I thoroughly enjoy running the Stepping On program. I especially love seeing the transformation of participants at the end of the program. Participants are more confident on their feet and enjoy sharing their stories of becoming more independent at home.”
A previous participant reflected on her successes, “The program gave me the opportunity to develop my mobility. The classes are so friendly, non-judgemental and fun and we quickly became bonded in our efforts to improve our mobility and safety. “
Stepping On also provides participants with information on reducing the risk of falling and maximising independence at home and in the community. The program includes educational sessions, basic group exercises and an opportunity to socialise with other participants. Each session covers a range of topics, including vision, medication, safe footwear, home safety and activities to improve strength and balance. All of these topics are provided by local health professionals, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, vision specialists and more.
The group runs for two hours a week for seven weeks, followed by a refresher session two months later.
For further enquiries about the Stepping On program at Bungendore, please call the Physiotherapy Department at Queanbeyan Hospital on 6150 7245.