Each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, one out of three older people fall each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Why should they, you may ask. Because falling once doubles their chances of falling again.

The national award-winning FallProof™ Balance and Mobility program utilizes a multidimensional approach to the assessment and treatment of balance-related problems.  This theory-driven program has proven to be effective in reducing fall risk among older adults identified at moderate-to-high risk for falls.  This intensive, evidence-based program was developed by Debra J. Rose, Ph.D., the Director of the Center for Successful Aging at California State University, Fullerton, and a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology.  Dr. Rose has considerable experience working with older adults with balance and mobility impairments.  She is widely published in the areas of motor control and balance research, and is a frequent speaker in the areas of fall-risk reduction, balance and mobility.

For the past 10 years, the Petaluma Senior Center has offered this program, which is supported by volunteers from Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, Dominican University, and many Petaluma community members. Due to its popularity, there is often a waiting list. PPSC is pleased to announce that we now have four certified FallProof Balance and Mobility Specialist instructors. The certification process for these instructors requires approximately 100 hours of online coursework, a 3-day competency workshop, and a final examination. The new instructors are well-trained and ready to begin teaching classes.

To get more information on these classes, contact PPSC at admin@petalumapeople.org or call 707-765-8488.

Current Class Schedule:

Petaluma Senior Center are on Thursdays at 9:15AM, 10:30AM, 11:45AM, 1:00PM, 

Synergy Health Club are on Tuesdays at 1:15PM and 2:30PM

Valley Orchards are on Monday 9:30AM and 10:45AM,

for more information on any of these classes please call PPSC for more information –  707-765-8488.

Forms you will need to complete for the class:

Medical Clearance of Personal Physician

FallProof Waiver and Release Form 2016

FallProof Health and Activity Questionnaire 2016

Balance Efficacy Scale 2016

Falls Are Serious and Costly

  • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
  • Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
  • Over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
  • Each year, at least 250,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
  • Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $34 billion annually.
  • Hospital costs account for two-thirds of the total.

What Can Happen After a Fall?

Many falls do not cause injuries. But one out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live on their own.

  • Falls can cause broken bones, like wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures.
  • Falls can cause head injuries. These can be very serious, especially if the person is taking certain medicines (like blood thinners). An older person who falls and hits their head should see their doctor right away to make sure they don’t have a brain injury.
  • Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling.

What Conditions Make You More Likely to Fall?

Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling. These are called risk factors. Many risk factors can be changed or modified to help prevent falls. They include:

  • Lower body weakness
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Difficulties with walking and balance
  • Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants. Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance and how steady you are on your feet.
  • Vision problems
  • Foot pain or poor footwear
  • Home hazards or dangers such as
    • broken or uneven steps,
    • throw rugs or clutter that can be tripped over, and
    • no handrails along stairs or in the bathroom.

Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling. However, falls can be prevented. These are some simple things you can do to keep yourself from falling, including a talk with your doctor.

  • Ask your doctor or healthcare provider to evaluate your risk for falling and talk with them about specific things you can do.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy or sleepy. This should include prescription medicines and over-the counter medicines.
  • Ask your doctor or healthcare provider about taking vitamin D supplements with calcium.

For the flyer and more information: FallProof Flyer Summer 2016

FallProof! Spanish: FallProof Flyer in Spanish 7 2016