ActiveVoice: Live stronger for longer
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Written by Jen Riley, Community Strength & Balance Project Leader, Sport Bay of Plenty
Sport Bay of Plenty has recently started on an exciting new project that will look at creating access to approved community group strength and balance classes across the Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty for older adults.
ACC is funding this project as ultimately they want to decrease the millions of dollars they spend each year on older adults falling over. Research shows that older people with muscle weakness, balance issues or mobility limitations are three to five times more likely to fall in any one year than those without these problems. There is also evidence that community group strength and balance classes can reduce falls by 29%.
Older people fall most often at home, leading to injuries such as cuts and bruises, broken bones, or worse. As a result, many people require admission to a hospital or residential care facility.
Falling has a considerable effect on an older person in terms of movement confidence, health, function and independence. If people are afraid of falling this may in turn reduce their desire to be active and may lead to isolation and further immobilisation.
Falling over and losing your strength and balance shouldn’t be considered a natural part of ageing. Improving your strength and balance is considered to be one of the most modifiable risk factor with regards to having a fall.
It all comes down to ‘use it or lose it’ and the classes that Sport Bay of Plenty plans to coordinate and/or set up will involve simple, but effective, exercises that will improve leg strength and also challenge participants balance in a fun and safe environment.
If you know of someone that has trouble getting out of a chair without using their hands or struggles to stand on one leg then they could greatly benefit from coming along to a strength and balance class.
Sport Bay of Plenty wants to see numerous strength and balance classes available in all communities (big and small) around the Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty. To do this, we are looking at training up volunteers, exercise instructors, community groups, church groups, activity coordinators or residents at retirement villages in how to lead strength and balance classes.
**If you are interested in offering a strength and balance class in your community or if you would like to be trained up as a strength and balance instructor then get in touch with me, Jen Riley, on 578 0016 ext 803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also contact me if you would like to attend a strength and balance class.**
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