Tai Chi Quan Program Designed to Reduce Older Adults’ Risk of Falling, held Mondays at the Library Annex in Sapulpa

The Creek County Literacy Program, in conjunction with the Creek County Health Department, is offering new class dates for their program designed to reduce older adults’ risk of falling.

Classes will be held for 12 weeks. The starting date for the Library Annex Tai Chi Program is set for Monday, September 15 at 10am. The first class will begin with a discussion on Tai Chi, including a question and answer session. Classes will be held Mondays at 10am for one hour. The Library Annex is located at 15 North Poplar Street in Sapulpa.

Tai Chi Quan – Moving for Better Balance – is a free program geared towards adults 65 years of age and older. “It is encouraged for anyone over 45 years of age,” shared Instructor Gina Wozencraft. “The purpose of the program is to improve one’s balance and reduce the likelihood of falling. Studies have shown that Tai Chi improves muscular strength, balance, postural control, and reduces the older adults’ risk of falling by 47-55%, as well as reducing the risk of falls by Parkinson’s Disease patients by 67%. The eight forms in this program are all derived from the traditional, well-known 24-form Yang style Tai Chi, which has been tailored to older adults wishing to improve balance and mobility,” she explained.

Research evidence shows falls among older adults in Oklahoma are on the rise, and is the leading cause of fatal and non fatal injuries in older adults. One in three adults over age 65 fall each year, and 20 to 30% of falls result in moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head traumas.

In 2008, hospital studies concluded 14,830 fall-related discharges; almost 11,000 were 65 or older. Fall-related hospitalizations increased 66% from 2004 to 2008, and this number continues to rise as the baby boomers continue to age.

This program is one of the scientifically tested and proven interventions that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2008) as an effective community-based exercise program to prevent falls for older adults. Currently, the program is being piloted by several other State Health Departments in the United States, including California, New York and Oregon.

The 12 week Tai Chi program is being offered at no cost to area residents. The instructor has completed master level training as the community instructor sponsored by the Injury Prevention Services of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, and is looking forward to meeting with participants to discuss the program. Tai Chi Quan is a health literacy outreach project of Creek County Literacy Program, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, with funding provided by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

No prior sign-ups are required to attend class. For more information, call 918-224-9647.