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Friday, May 6, 2016

Don't fall into fall

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Abby Pingel, physical therapy assistant at St. Luke Homes and Services, teaches attendees about strength and balance exercises to help prevent falls. The Falls Prevention and Awareness event was held on Friday at the Spencer Area Activities Center.
(Photo by Kate Padilla)
Saturday was the first day of fall. It was also the sixth annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

To celebrate, the Spencer Area Activity Center hosted its "Falls Prevention Awareness" event on Friday morning, a seminar teaching techniques to prevent falling.

National Falls Prevention Awareness Day is typically observed on the first day of fall, both as a play on words and as a reminder that colder temperatures are coming and, with them, higher environmental risks for falling.

The Spencer Area Activity Center was approached by Northwest Aging Association to host the seminar. In addition to Northwest Iowa Aging, Spencer Hospital, St. Luke Homes and Services, and Northwest Iowa Bone and Joint helped to organize the event.

"It was a really good thing," Christie Gabhart, executive director of SAAC, said. "If you've got five entities working together, you'll be able to put together a much better event."

The day was divided into seven speaking sections, with information on creating a home environment to deter a fall, to nutrition and exercise tips so that the body is stronger and more agile.

"Everybody seemed to think it was successful," Gabhart said.

SAAC has hosted a number of events in recent months, and Gabhart does not see the activity slowing down.

"We have the empty space and time," Gabhart said. "There are rooms that should be filled with more than just card games."

She continued. "I feel the more events we can hold here, the more people are going to walk through the door."

SAAC also used the event to promote their exercise classes, offered free of charge. Gabhart is also working with a certified Nordic Walking instructor, to offer Nordic Walking classes at the center.

"The first time people walk in, they generally come to check it out," Gabhart said. "Then they feel more comfortable and they come back more. We've got a wide variety of things for a wide variety of people."

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