Senior Center teaches balance to prevent falls

Elderly fall risk campaign

SAN ANTONIO -- The first day of fall also happens to be Falls Prevention Day across the United States.

Senior Centers are getting the word out on how to prevent dangerous falls, and the Elvira Cisneros Senior Center in San Antonio has classes designed to reduce that risk.

“The most important thing is most people have weak legs, bad knees, bad hips, so I try to focus on that the best I can," said Mary Helen Janavaras, a strength and balance instructor.

She teaches her balance class twice a week, and she said the seniors that attend are dedicated.

“It’s hard sometimes especially the ones that have strokes because they struggle. But they’ve made great improvements," Janavaras said.  

Training is one thing, but seniors can also do things around their homes to prevent falls, too.

Caregiver SOS program manager Gloria Miranda said installing shower bars, securing rugs and cleaning up spills as soon as they happen are just a few of the home changes that can reduce a senior's fall risk.

“We can’t guarantee all falls will be prevented, but we can prevent most falls," Miranda said.  

Back in the training room, Janavaras gave some advice on what to do if one of her students does eventually find themselves falling to the ground.

"Try not to brace with your hands, because you might hurt yourself even more," she said.

To her, the seniors she teaches are more than just students.

“I love all of my seniors here, they’re very dedicated," said Janavaras. "They keep me going, they’re great people.”

(© 2016 KENS)


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