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ATSU students launch 2013 fall prevention outreach

ATSU students launch 2013 fall prevention outreach

A. T. Still University (ATSU) students from the Arizona campus in the physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology and athletic training programs began the 2013 ATSU Still Standing Fall Prevention Outreach on Wednesday, January 9.

The outreach will be conducted through March at 21 sites in Phoenix, Mesa, Fountain Hills, Sun City, and Tempe. Two of the classes are being offered in American Sign Language, and one class is being conducted in Spanish.

The courses run eight weeks, with 46 ATSU students, directed by 10 ATSU faculty, providing instruction to the participants.

The ATSU Still Standing Fall Prevention Outreach is a community health education program conducted by ATSU’s Aging Studies Project, in collaboration with the City of Phoenix Department of Human Services, SCAN Health Plan Arizona, East Valley Adult Resources and Banner Health.

The outreach utilizes A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls, a program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. ATSU students from multiple disciplines are recruited to participate in the outreach. Students serve as coaches who teach the Matter of Balance curriculum at community centers, senior centers as well as assisted and independent living facilities throughout the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

Since the ATSU Still Standing Fall Prevention Outreach began in 2009, 186 students have been trained as Matter of Balance coaches. More than 1,200 older adults in the metro Phoenix area have participated in the Matter of Balance program, with an additional 300 anticipated to join in 2013.

“Falls in the elder population are a pressing public health concern in our community and around the country,” said Elton Bordenave, MEd, CHC, director of the ATSU Aging Project for the Mesa campus. “This outreach gives our students an opportunity to directly help seniors at risk for falls. At the same time, the students gain experience working with seniors and delivering evidence-based material. It is a real win-win.”

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