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 are on hold for the immediate future. 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.

Funded by a grant from the Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention and Yale University School of Medicine through the Department of Aging, our Steady Steps program is based on research by experts from both.

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

Demonstration videos

Brief fall risk reduction demonstration videos of one simple balance exercise or other movement at a time will be offered in VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice’s bi-weekly e-newsletter for the remainder of 2020.

To sign up to receive the e-newsletter, please scroll down and enter your e-mail address where indicated at the bottom of this website.

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 summer session will run July 6 to Aug. 31 and costs $10 for the series. The fall session will run Sept. 14 to Dec. 7 and costs $15 for the series (no class 11/16).

  • 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 summer session will run July 2 to Aug. 27 (no class July 9) and costs $10 for the series. The fall session will run Sept. 3 to Dec. 3 and costs $15 for the series (no class 11/12 or on Thanksgiving Day).

  • 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. There is no summer session. The fall session of the advanced class will run Sept. 4 to Nov. 20 and costs $30 for the series.

A beginner class is held Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. There is no summer session. The fall session of the beginner class will run Sept. 9 to Nov. 25 and costs $30 for the series.

To register for a class and receive the Zoom link and information email wellnessclasses@vna-commh.org.