Last week I was getting a haircut and having a very sad conversation with the woman who cuts my hair. She just lost the pastor at their church because of a head injury he sustained during a fall. He was the original founder of the congregation and had been there for 27 years!
Falls happen all the time for so many reasons. We can help to prevent falls by lowering our fall associated risk. That means making your environment safer, learning to make sensible choices, determining why you fell and doing something about it.
Every year there are thousands of injuries sustained because of falls. Today's post is all about Penny Evensen's experiences teaching Balance Movement classes at the Friendship Centers.
For more information on Balance Movement Classes in Sarasota and Newtown, please call Penny Evensen, RN, at 941.556.3259 or call Tom Harlow, Falls Prevention Specialist/Senior Personal Trainer, for classes for Venice & North Port at 941.584.0075.
by Peg Palmer and Penny Evensen R.N.
“I realize that I am receiving one of the most incredible gifts, the gift of friendship and the gift of love from the people who attend my classes. I have been given the opportunity to be part of their lives. I am extremely blessed to have an opportunity to teach Balance Movement classes.”
For Penny Evenson, teaching Balance Movement classes at the Friendship Centers is more than sharing her knowledge and helping others feel safer and more confident on their feet. It’s seeing how the power of the friendship connection restores balance not only to body, but to spirit as well.
“ I have watched the classes grow and have seen not only the physical improvement clients get from the exercises but also from the social aspect and the sharing of experiences and concerns related to aging and health problems.
“I have some of my own health issues and there are some days when I come to work ,I think “boy I am tired,” but I step into the exercise circle and see each of these remarkable seniors arrive to take a chair and welcome each other as they arrive. They always have a hug and smile directed my way.
“Their real concern for each other has been amazing and their willingness to laugh at themselves as they occasionally struggle with a new exercise is really something to see. If one of the regulars is missing for more than one class they become concerned and worried. We make the effort to keep in touch and send cards to those that are going through a difficult time.
“I have felt my heart swell when I see someone who has had difficulty with a mobility issue and after several classes can smile and offer a positive note.
“One participant, attending her first class, arrived a bit disheveled and struggled so hard to do each exercise, never smiling once during the class. Despite attempting to reassure her, I didn’t think she would return. But the following class, there she was with her hair done and make-up on. Despite having difficulty with the exercises she smiled throughout the class. She has been coming to class twice a week ever since. While some days are good and others more difficult, she always has a smile and a hug.
“This past year has been difficult for me as I have watched my wonderful father slowly decline. Again I am gifted by my exercise group with their concern. There isn’t a class that goes by that I don’t have clients asking about my father and offering sincere concern and prayers, as well as a warm hug.
“I give seniors help with physical issues, provide support and encourage them to keep going. They warm my heart, make me smile and laugh.”