Marion County Program Works To Keep Elderly On Their Feet

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Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) and On Top of the World (OTOW) fitness professionals are hosting workshops for Ocala’s elderly to learn how to avoid falling.

Thursday was the first workshop in the series. The workshops will be held throughout the next few months and teach participants 10 exercises to enhance their balance. Improving balance is a vital technique to make sure participants avoid tripping or falling, especially if they live alone. According to OTOW group fitness supervisor, Jessica Pinkowski, 55 percent of these types of accidents occur at home.

The Big Balance Theory, a fall-prevention program, aims to educate residents over 65 years of age about exercises that can be done at home or fitness centers to work on their balance.

One in three elders fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls have the potential to cause both fatal and nonfatal injuries.

The partnership between MCFR and OTOW came about to decrease the number of accidents in the Ocala area.

Participant Alice Mitchell, 78, has been suffering from osteoporosis for the last 15 years. She said she wants to avoid taking medication for her illness, so she finds the workshop helpful in managing her condition.

“The more active you stay, the more muscle you’ll maintain and therefore the less likely you are to fall,” Pinkowski said.

About Adriana Yurizza

Adriana is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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