A new digital tool is now available to guard against falls as Community Strength & Balance sessions are in full swing around Taranaki this April Falls month.
April Falls is an annual awareness raising campaign on the impact of falls and the best ways to prevent them. This year, it also signals the launch of the ACC funded app Nymbl, a personalised app for older adults wanting to maintain or improve their balance at home. Research shows many falls happen when a person is distracted. To combat this Nymbl pairs cognitive challenges with simple body movements to both challenge the user’s body and mind and reduce falls risk.
Sport Taranaki Community Strength and Balance Coordinator Hilary Blackstock says there are about 60 different class options around Taranaki including Tai Chi, line dancing, movement to music, Zumba Gold, yoga and Pilates. While each are different, they all are great opportunities to connect with others while providing specific exercises to guard against falls.
"Attending a class is a great social event and gives people a lot of benefits and having something like Nymbl people can use at home between classes is a really great option.”
All the classes run at very low cost, and anyone can attend to try them out with no obligation to find what is right for them.
"It's important people find what is right, and most fun, for them. Keep any eye out for the video launching soon which showcases some of our wonderful classes or just pop in and have a look at any of the classes running at any time."
A Positive Aging Forum is also being planned for Hāwera on 26 June which will bring together a number of health professionals giving practical tips and tricks on maintaining good health in later years.
Those interested in more individualised support to improve their strength and balance should contact Hilary at Sport Taranaki or talk to a GP for a referral.
Mahi behind the scenes
Building a safe, fun and effective class network which meets the needs of our aging population requires constant work behind the scenes.
Sport Taranaki supports class leaders with resources, training and promotion as well as resources.
"We have some brilliant leaders out there in the community making a difference and we are always looking for ways to help them," Hilary says.
Article added: Monday 17 April 2023
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