A Matter of Balance Class Participant Comments
The MOB class participant comments illustrate the positive impact that the program has made in their lives. Emily Farah-Miller, Master Trainer with the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging in North Saint Paul, MN, shares a few of her favorites:
Q. What changes have you made as a result of this class?
My legs and balance are stronger. I'm starting to do more exercises. (66 year old female)
I'm not ashamed to use a cane. (96 year old female)
Recognizing negative thoughts and changing to positive. (70 year old female)
Awareness of how I walk, keeping things out of my way, asking for help when needed. (76 year old female)
More deliberate in taking steps; moving my feet rather than reaching in an awkward position. (67 year old male)
Cleared furniture from path. Removed throw rugs. (74 year old male)
Exercise, which I haven't done before. (86 year old male)
More comments from MOB participants across the country:
It was helpful hearing others tell of their situations and happenings...regarding falls.
I'm very aware of my surroundings. Plan to install at least one outdoor railing. I don't fill both arms when going to basement.
To realize that I have to keep exercising and doing as much as I can, but slower if need be. I also enjoyed the friends I made at the senior center.
Threw away rugs without backing. Changed furniture to have more walking space. Have changed my overall thinking regarding "balance" and "falls."
Became more observant of my surroundings. Concentrate on picking up my feet when walking.
Have changed to exercises I enjoy instead of those that were "work". Choose walking shoes that are appropriate for the weather. Plan activities in advance to allow enough time so as not to rush.
I have become more active in my out-of-home activities. I have also become more able to ask friends or relatives for help in order to not put myself in harm's way.
The more one can learn about falling and preventing them is a plus and valuable to know. Sharing information with a group is good and helpful and makes you feel less like a KLUTZ!
Taking wider steps. Take a flashlight & cell phone into cellar.
Have someone check on me every day. Updated my emergency list. Bring phone into bathroom when I take a shower.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
I have decided to move a little more slowly. Swift jerky movements had a tendency to cause me to lose my balance.
I got rid of the throw rugs. I'm exercising and coming to class. I think it's great. I hate to see it end.
Trying to eat more healthy snacks. Using night lights in more rooms at home. Practice breathing exercise. Making special effort to breathe when exercising - not holding my breath. Trying to encourage husband and other sr. friends to exercise.
Use common sense and think ahead. Be more careful and cautious, safety hazards. Slow down and be more prepared in daily routines.
It is always nice to know that your problems are not unique and to learn other ways to cope. Our teachers were very capable and knowledgeable, and understanding.
More positive about going out - confident about trying something new.
It has made me more confident about everyday life.
Will check my meds with my doc.
Keep encouraging everyone I know how important it is to keep moving - exercise - or dance - or walk. It kept me moving - and doubled my enjoyment of life.
Thinking more positively about the aging process. Determined to be all I can be as the process rolls on.
Use of a cane when I think I need it for support. New bathroom rug. Evaluation of the needs for help with own home and big yard.
I'm learning to take care of myself better, exercise more, taking time to prepare for activities and chores that need to be done. Also I'm working on hazardous preventions in my home.
I have started therapy and swimming 3 times a week.
My primary change is to be more aware of what I'm doing and of the situation I'm in - to try to do a better job of concentrating on where my feet are and of my balance & how to get myself out of a situation if I slip or fall - think, don't panic.
Switching from slippers to shoes. Put non-skid strips on shower grab bar. Considering a cane. Changed medication!
I've become much more aware of everything I do. I think before I act and smile a lot.
I have more consciousness about ways to avoid falls. I have spoken to other people about taking the class. I am considering getting more information and maybe becoming a class leader.