To help older adults learn how to prevent falls, Appalachian State Universitys BlueShield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services will begin offering free monthly CHAMP screenings at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center April through November.
The center is located in the Watauga County Human Services Building at 132 Poplar Grove Connector, Suite A.
CHAMP stands for Community Health and Mobility Partnership. The program is designed to improve strength, balance and mobility to help older individuals avoid falls and stay independent and active for life. The screenings will be conducted by a nurse and physical therapist who will identify participants at risk for falls and provide individualized fall prevention recommendations.
Area physicians or home health workers are encouraged to refer patients to this service.
Who should participate? Anyone who:
Wants to reduce individual risk factors for falls
Wants to improve strength, balance or mobility
Needs instruction in specific home exercises to help maintain fitness and independence
Has concerns about balance or walking
Needs advice about assistive devices, such as walkers and canes
Has had one or more falls
CHAMP was initiated in McDowell County in 2009 as a two-year collaborative research project with Dr. Vicki Mercer at UNC, with Baxter International Foundation serving as the founding sponsor. It is a modified form of the Otago Exercise Programme, which has been proven to result in a 35 percent reduction in falls and fall related injuries.
CHAMP is sponsored by a collaboration of Watauga County agencies, including the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center, Appalachians BlueShield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services in the College of Health Sciences, and the universitys Department of Nursing, Department of Sociology and gerontology and athletic training programs.