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Resurrection Lutheran in Gretna to hold Falls Prevention Awareness Week event

From the Inside this week's Gretna Breeze: Sept. 14 series
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Resurrection Lutheran Church, in partnership with Tai Chi for Balance and the Nebraska Older Adults Falls Coalition, invites the community to a free class event at Peterson Park on Monday, Sept. 19, in observance of National Falls Prevention Awareness Week.

The class will meet on the basketball court at 9 a.m. to provide demonstrations of tai chi and will share information about other steps to prevent serious injuries resulting from falls.

Every 11 seconds in the United States, an older adult is treated at an emergency medical facility for a fall-related injury. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries within the senior population and approximately 1 out of 4 senior adults falls each year, according to the CDC.

Sept. 18-24 has been designated National Falls Prevention Awareness Week and is intended to educate the public on the physical health and financial costs of falls, especially among the senior population, and to provide information on the steps we all can take to prevent falls and the resulting injuries.

Falls need not be part of aging. Steps we can take to prevent falls include talking with our health care providers and our families, reviewing the medications we take with our doctor or pharmacist, getting our vision and hearing checked annually, keeping our homes safe and a good balance and exercise program.

Tai chi is a best practice to reduce the risk of falls in older adults. Tai chi is often described as “meditation in motion” — the movements are slow, graceful, gentle, calming and can be done by anyone.

Participants can stand or sit to do the exercises and the forms are adaptable for persons using walkers or canes. Tai chi focuses primarily on fall prevention by increasing muscular strength, mobility and balance and is beneficial to all age groups. Additional benefits to tai chi include improved emotional well-being, improved sleep quality and reduced blood pressure, among others.

Resurrection Lutheran Church, 153 S. McKenna in Gretna, hosts a tai chi class each Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m., which is free and open to the community. Classes will run this fall through Nov. 30 and are taught by Nicki Ayer and Karen Hitz. For more information, contact theoffice@relchurch.net.

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