For women in their 90’s who want to remain independent and live in their own home, finding the right combination of resources to keep them healthy and mobile can be an ongoing challenge. The biggest concern for many of them is simply getting around the house without falling and staying strong enough to bathe, dress, and cook meals. Having social support and companionship is also very important as advanced age often brings on feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Beatrice, at 95, is lucky to have family in the area who check in on her every day and take her out for trips to the grocery store and Macy’s. She likes shopping and gets a thrill out of choosing just the right gift for one of her children. During the past few years her mobility and strength have been declining but she still gets around her house with a walker and is able to dress herself and warm up meals cooked by her son. She attributes some of her success at remaining independent to LIFE ElderCare’s Fall Prevention program.
Four years ago, Beatrice and her son read about the program and thought it would be a good way for her to get personalized exercise assistance that was pre-approved by her doctor. They also liked the idea of nursing students coming to the home every week to monitor her progress, maintain her motivation and answer questions. Beatrice says about her experience, “Oh yes, I like the program and want to continue with it.” She says the program has helped her stability and she enjoys visiting with the nurses. It is the first exercise program she has ever participated in.
While she is no longer able to shower or bathe on her own, she still takes short walks with her children and accompanies her son to the grocery store every week for shopping. “We are so happy when the program helps older adults stay in the homes they love for as long as safely possible,” says Maureen Parent, Fall Prevention Coordinator, “sometimes for people in their 90’s, just ‘holding the line’ is an amazing achievement.”
The Fall Prevention program is open to anyone age 60 and older who lives in Fremont, Newark and Union City. The supervised exercise program lasts 12 weeks and includes a medication review and home safety check. For more information or to sign up, call Sandy at 510-574-2087.