Washington County Health Department is looking to expand a fall prevention program

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Each year millions of senior citizens fall and one out of those five falls leads to serious injuries.

Just in Washington County, experts tell us that there were 5,000 falls – 600 hundred leading to hospital visits and 21 leading to death.

People think just because you are older, you’re going to fall but that’s not the case. Falling is not a natural part of the aging process. It really can be prevented through education, exercise” said Larenz Bonner, who is training to be a master leader.

To reduce these numbers, the stepping on program was created. It is a program geared towards reducing seniors’ chances of falling and it has been available in Washington County since 2011.

“One of the exercises is the get up and go, where you just stand from your chair and then sit down and you do that for as many times as you can and then increase that over time,” said program manager from Washington County Health Department, Mary McPherson.

“You don’t have to be a doctor. You don’t have to be a nurse, a rehab person. You can be anyone. Anyone who wants to help Washington County is welcome to this training,” said Bonner.

The program is working to branch out and reach more communities throughout Maryland. With free three-day training, any person willing to sign up can be a master leader. 

They only ask that you commit to teaching one class per year. The goal is to give the elderly people the tools to still do things on their own.

“We can give you the education you need to be able to live independently for as long as you can,” said Bonner.

“One gentle man just wanted to just be able to sit and pick up his grandchild. He wanted to pick up his grandchild. And by the end of the class he was able to do that. And he felt that that was a success,” said McPherson.

Each session lasts seven weeks, with one meeting per week.

This is the time of year when people reflect on their lives and try to make changes for the New Year.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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