Falls Prevention Work Shop Draws Health Conscious Crowd

Some 85 older adults attended the “Stay Healthy, Stay Active, Avoid a Fall” event held September 28 at the Winter Park Garden Club featuring Dr. Ariel Cole, Director of Florida Hospital’s Geriatric Fellowship Program.

The event was funded as part of the one-year, $46,000 Winter Park Health Foundation Falls Prevention Pilot Program grant awarded to the Senior Resource Alliance last fall.

Seniors attending had access to a variety of free health screenings and activities, including bone density, balance and gait as assessment, balance testing, medication review, nutrition counseling, blood pressure checks, and home assessment counseling.  Dr. Cole, certified by the American Board of Family Medicine with a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine, helped raise awareness among participants about the many causes of falls, injuries that can result, and interventions that can help prevent a first, or repeat, fall.

 In addition, Maitland Fire and Rescue staged a mock response call so that they could demonstrate what to expect if EMTs or paramedics are called to a home in response to a fall. The volunteer fall victim used for the demonstration was Diana Silvey, WPHF Program Director-Older Adults.

Finally, seniors learned about the A Matter of Balance program that will be offered at the Jewish Community Center and Beardall Senior Center.  A Matter of Balance is an evidence-based program that has been promoted in Central Florida through funding by WPHF with training provided by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.  This exercise program is designed specifically to manage falls and increase activity and confidence levels among people who are concerned about falling.