Ways to prevent falls for Comox Valley residents

Community resources and programs for falls prevention in the Comox Valley

It never ceases to amaze me the number of community resources and programs that are available in an area of interest.

Falls prevention programs are no exception! Although not comprehensive, the following list is a good starting point for seniors and family caregivers on what’s available in the Comox Valley and other resources online.

Fall-proof balance and mobility classes

Taught by physiotherapist Dale Graham this class is designed to improve balance, strength, walking ability, and confidence. The exercises are matched to your abilities and are done sitting, standing and walking.

Participants must be able to walk a city block without stopping and without use of walker or cane. A doctor referral is required.

For more information on coming sessions, call 250-338-1000.

Tai Chi

Known to improve balance; several options for Tai Chi classes are available.  Evergreen Seniors offers a class and to find out more information, please call 250-338-1000.

The Taoist Tai Chi Society offers beginner classes in the Comox Valley on Mondays from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the Comox Recreation Centre and on Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Comox United Church.

Please call 1-250-240-3387 or e-mail parksville@taoist.org for more information.

Aqua Motion

Water therapy classes are a great way for individuals who love the pool and want to improve their strength and balance.

There are several levels of Aqua Motion classes and for more information, contact 250-334-9622, ext. 225.

An Aqua Motion participation form must be completed prior to starting these classes and these are available at the customer service desk at the Aquatic Centre or Sports Centre.

Osteomotion for Life

This program is specifically designed for individuals living with osteoporosis and offers a very safe exercise program.

The program is geared towards those who are active on a regular basis, to increase bone strength, balance and agility. Osteomotion classes also require a physician’s consent form and these are available at the customer service at desk at the Aquatic Centre or Sports Centre.

Contact 250-334-9622, ext. 225 for more information.

FAME program (post stroke fitness and exercise program)

Designed for individuals who have had a stroke or other neurological conditions, this program is delivered by instructors, who work closely with a physiotherapist, are specifically trained in post stroke exercise.

Participants will improve balance, function, confidence, walking speed, muscle strength and quality of life. The FAME program also requires a physician’s consent form and these are available at the customer service at desk at the Aquatic Centre or Sports Centre.

Contact 250-334-9622, ext. 225 for more information.

Move for Life DVD

Move for Life is a DVD featuring seniors of all ages and abilities demonstrating physical activities. It includes activities for viewers with limited mobility so they can stretch and move safely. It encourages older adults to add more physical activities to their daily routine in a fun and inspiring way while explaining the benefits of doing so.

You can order the Move for Life DVD for free by calling toll-free at 1-877-725-1149.

Home-Based Falls Prevention Exercises

A two-page, home activity sheet with basis exercises geared towards improving balancing. Go to www.gpscbc.ca/system/files/HandOut%201_Home%20Exercise%20Program_Final-June02.pdf to download the resource.

Vancouver Coastal Health also has an informative website on falls prevention and a great publication for download at http://fallprevention.vch.ca called Stay on your Feet.

If you don’t have access to the Internet or a printer, please contact our office at 250-339-1188 and we may be able to help you.

Wendy Johnstone is a gerontologist and is the founder of Keystone Eldercare Solutions. Her column runs in the Comox Valley Record every second Friday.

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