Event aims to prevent falls through social activities that improve balance

DES MOINES, IA (08/28/2014)(readMedia)-- Suffering a fall can injure much more than one's pride. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries - such as hip fractures, head traumas and lacerations. Fortunately, exercises to promote balance and prevention efforts can help those at risk of traumatic falls stay safe.

A free, public event, "Hello Balance. Goodbye Falls." at Des Moines University on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9-11:30 a.m. will address risk factors and prevention methods. The event is presented by Des Moines University, Wesley Acres and the Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

"Falls impact all aspects of one's ability to complete daily functional activities," says Dr. Katherine Mercuris, Des Moines University associate professor. "Falls are often caused by multiple factors and require a variety of treatment approaches."

The event will feature a presentation discussing the causes of falls from an individual and environmental perspective as well as exercise parameters to improve balance. Attendees may participate in an individualized assessment of their balance by DMU students and physical therapists as well as a home assessment of fall risks in their environment. Blood pressure checks, medication reviews and nutritional information will also be available. Interactive Tai Chi and Chair Yoga demonstrations will offer participants the chance to try exercise forms that are supported by research to improve balance and flexibility.

For more information, contact Morgan Paulson, Wesley Acres wellness director, at 271-6596 or mpaulson@wesleylife.org.

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Des Moines University (DMU) is the only private medical school in Iowa, offering graduate-level, professional degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, biomedical sciences, anatomy, health care administration and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students' pass rate on national examinations and board certifications is consistently higher than the national average and the rates at similar institutions.