Palmetto Health recognizes National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Sept. 22 with free tai chi class

Posted on 9/19/2018

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, falls are the leading cause of injury and accidental death in adults over the age of 65. In an effort to increase awareness and decrease trauma injuries, Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 22, Falls Prevention Awareness Day in South Carolina.

In recognition of National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Sept. 22, Palmetto Health Richland Trauma Center will sponsor a free “Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention” class for older adults Thursday, Sept. 20, 1-2:30 p.m., at Charles R. Drew Wellness Center, 2101 Walker Solomon Way.

This event is open to all older adults or anyone with balance issues. Joseph Whiting, a certified instructor with the Phoenix Health Education and Wellness Center in Sumter, will lead the class. Educational information and water will be provided. No registration is required.

Tai chi is designed to improve cardiovascular fitness, stamina and muscular strength, thereby helping to prevent falls and improve flexibility and balance. Tai chi is a form of martial arts that involves low impact and slow, controlled movements.

The American Occupational Therapy Association provides these tips to prevent falls:

  • Remove clutter in your home, and walk carefully when there are potential hazards, such as throw rugs and pets underfoot. 
  • Never stand on chairs or similar items to get to something you can’t reach. Ask for help, or use a sturdy stool with hand rail or a ladder. 
  • Do not use towel bars, sink edges, etc. for support because they could come away from the wall. 
  • Use a nightlight in the bedroom and bathroom. 
  • Immediately wipe spills off the floor, and use a rubber-backed bathmat to prevent the bathroom floor from getting wet. Even a small amount of water can lead to a slip. 
  • Stay active to maintain overall strength, endurance, and balance. 
  • Know your limitations. If there is a task you cannot easily complete, do not risk a fall by trying to do it.

For more information about the Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention class, contact Nichole Spivey, Palmetto Health Richland Trauma injury prevention coordinator, at 803-434-6231.


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