Staying on your feet is not always easy and anyone can have a slip.

According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, falls are the leading cause of accidental injury for residents 55 years and older, yet falls are one of the most preventable health problems.

Anyone with physical or sensory deficits, such as visual impairments or foot problems, is at risk. Also at risk are those with a chronic illness, those taking more than four prescription medications, and those who have noticed a decline in their physical mobility or changes in their balance.

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice has moved its award winning fall prevention program Steady Steps into the virtual space so it remains accessible despite the fact that the agency’s in-person classes and assessments remain on hold. The program reduces fall related hospitalizations and ER visits. Of our participants, 85 percent lowered their risk of falls, improved balance and learned how to prevent falls from occurring.

The program is based on research from experts at the Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention and Yale University School of Medicine.

The educational sessions and classes outlined below can make a tremendous impact on reducing your risk for falls. Some basic tips for safety include making sure adequate lighting is always available, most notably in instances such as getting out of bed at night; that appropriate footwear is always worn, especially at home where wood and tile floors can be slippery; and that you always have plenty of visibility and a clear path to walk in, particularly when carrying something in your hands.

Virtual Education Sessions

Our team has created recordings of all 10 sessions of our Fall Free Living education program, which includes things to consider to determine your own personal risk, advice for reducing your incidence of falls and education on a variety of related topics as well as exercise demonstrations. We recommend you watch one session per week, though the benefit of this virtual offering is you can engage in the program at your own desired pace. You can contact a member of our team via our Helpline at 866.474.5230 to ask questions or to discuss a personalized response plan to your risks.

Session 1: An introduction to your risk for falls

Session 2: Home safety evaluation tips

Session 3: Getting moving and balance problems

Session 4: Mobility

Session 5: Dos and Don’ts of Mobility using a cane and walker

Session 6: Medications and the related risk for falls

Session 7: Blood pressure

Session 8: Sensory deficits including vision and hearing loss

Session 9: Feet and footwear

Session 10: Home safety hazards


Phone consultations

If a medication review is required, we’re happy to conduct this with program participants via the phone. Balance assessments, blood pressure and other risk screenings and home safety evaluations may be done in-person on a case-by-case basis to keep you living safely at home.

Exercise classes

Our basic and advanced fitness courses as well as Tai Chi courses taught by certified instructors to help participants improve mobility and balance are now offered via Zoom.

  • Fitness and Movement Basics

This 45-minute class features chair exercises that are appropriate for people with mobility challenges. This class provides exercises which focus on muscular strength, range of motion, agility and balance, and cardio. This gently paced class will focus on activities we can accomplish while seated and will conclude with a stretch and relaxation segment. The class is held Mondays at 9:30 a.m.  The spring 2021 session will run April 12 to June 28 and costs $15 for the series.

  • Functional & Cardio Fitness

This 45-minute class is for fit active older adults with a robust activity level and prior fitness experience. This class will provide strength training, agility, balance, coordination, range of motion and cardiovascular segments, promoting overall wellness. Participants must be able to stand throughout class. The class is held Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. The fall session will run April 15 to July 1 and costs $15 for the series.

  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance

This 45-minute therapeutic regiment improves posture and awareness and mindful control of body positioning, as well as coordination. An advanced class designed for individuals who have taken Tai Chi with us before is held Fridays at 9:30 a.m. The spring 2021 session of the advanced class will run April 9 to June 25 and costs $30 for the series.

A beginner class is held Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. The spring session of the beginner class will run April 7 to June 23 and costs $30 for the series.

For more information email wellnessclasses@vna-commh.org. To register for a class click here.