By: Mike Steichen, Essentia Health Rehabilitation Director
The National Council on Aging has designated Thursday, September 22 as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. As a healthcare providers we know that many falls can be prevented by making changing in your environment, like removing floor rugs, and being aware of your risk for falling. I along with others trained professionals are offering free falls assessments in Baxter, Brainerd, Crosslake and Walker for community members to stop by 10 minutes to complete a falls assessment to determine their risk of falling. These free screening events is hosted by Crow Wing Energized are intended to connect those needing more support with the resources and educations that is available so they can confidently go into winter when the sidewalks become more slippery.
Thursday, September 22
8 – 10 am The Center, 803 Kingwood St, Brainerd
9 – 11 am Carefree Living, 2723 Oak St, Brainerd
10 am – 12 pm Brainerd Area YMCA, 602 Oak St, Brainerd
10 am – 12 pm May Creek Senior Living, 303 South 10th St, Walker
11 am – 1 pm Good Samaritan Society Bethany, 804 Wright St, Brainerd
11 am – 1 pm Crosslake Lutheran Church, 35960 County Road 66, Crosslake
1:30 – 3:30 pm Essentia Health St. Joseph’s – Baxter Clinic, 13060 Isle Dr, Baxter
Tuesday, September 27
9 – 11 am Northern Lakes Senior Living, 8186 Excelsior Rd, Baxter
Attendees at the screening event will be asked to complete one or both of the following falls screening tests:
Timed Up and Go (TUG)
Directions: Wear regular footwear and use a walking aid if needed. When you hear “Go,” you:
- Stand up from the chair
- Walk to the line on the floor at your normal pace
- Walk back to the chair at your normal pace
- Sit down again
High risk of falling: takes 11 or more seconds
Consult your doctor or physical therapist for advice on exercises to improve your strength. Attend A Matter of Balance class.
- Low risk of falling: takes 10 or less seconds
Stand up and be strong
Directions: Sit in a solid chair. Without using your arms, see how many times you can stand and sit in one minute.
- High risk of falling: 8 or fewer times
Consult your doctor or physical therapist for advice & instruction to improve your strength. Attend A Matter of Balance class.
- Moderate risk of falling: 9-12 times Do exercises to strengthen your legs and core. Seek assistance from your doctor or physical therapist if you have difficulty doing the exercises on your own. Attend A Matter of Balance class.
- Low risk of falling: 13 or more times
A Matter of Balance: Reducing your Risk of Falls Class
A Matter of Balance is an award-winning program designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. The free class is a series of eight weekly sessions that include how to:
- view falls as controllable
- set goals for increasing activity
- make changes to reduce fall risks at home
- exercise to increase strength and balance
The next Matter of Balance classes begin:
- Wednesdays starting September 28 from 1:00-3:00pm at The Center, 803 Kingwood St, Brainerd
- Mondays starting October 3 from 9:30–11:30am at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, 523 North Third St, Brainerd
- Tuesdays starting October 4 from 9:30–11:30am at Northern Lakes Senior Living, 8186 Excelsior Rd, Baxter
- Wednesdays starting October 5 from 1:00-3:00pm at Crosslake Lutheran Church, 35960 CR 66, Crosslake
- Tuesdays starting October 11 from 9:30–11:30am at May Creek Senior Living, 303 South 10th St, Walker
- Tuesdays starting October 11, 1:00-3:00pm at Lutheran Church of the Cross, 5064 CR 13, Nisswa
- Thursdays starting October 13 from 11:00am-1:00pm at Hedlund Chiropractic, 113432 Elmwood Drive, Suite 3, Baxter
Crow Wing Energized and Central MN Council on Aging are pleased to offer this education. Class size is limited. To register online visit CrowWingEnergized.org or please call 218-820-5588 or 218-839-8237.