2 ‘Stepping On’ sessions start in March

The Shawano County Department of Human Services’ Aging Unit will offer “Stepping On” workshops in Shawano and Tigerton this spring.

The seven-week program is designed to reduce falls and build confidence in older people.

The Shawano sessions will be held from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, beginning March 14, at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, 100 County Road B. Sessions in Tigerton will run from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Thursdays, beginning March 30, at the Tigerton Community Center, 221 Birch St.

The free sessions will include information on why people fall and how to prevent falls; simple balance and strength training; the role vision plays in keeping your balance; how medication can contribute to falls; ways to stay safe when out and about in the community; what to look for in safe footwear; and how to check your home for safety.

There is no cost to participate. To register, contact Heidi Russell at 715-526-4686 or heidi.russell@co.shawano.wi.us, or call 866-526-2130 toll-free.

The program was developed by Dr. Lindy Clemson of Sydney, Australia, to help older adults learn ways to prevent falls. Research has shown that people who complete the workshop have a 31 percent reduced rate of falls. Stepping On not only helps reduce falls and helps people remain in their homes longer, it also saves money. In 2000, the direct medical costs of falls totaled $28.2 billion. By 2020, the cost of falls injuries are estimated to be $32.4 billion.