Many people over age 65 fear falling, with good reason. Falls can cause broken bones, and a head injury from a fall may cause a fatal rupture of a blood vessel in the brain.

To prevent falls, physical therapists recommend patients with arthritis and other joint pain manage their pain and fear of falling by walking daily. It’s hard to convince someone who is afraid of falling to get up and move around. But research shows that walking improves flexibility and strength, which help prevent falls.

Locally, there are many opportunities to learn how to build your strength and balance. The Walk with Ease program at the Dallas County Hospital is an example of guided walking exercise. Tai Chi is available at the Waukee community center and the Adel Public Library, and a Yoga class meets at the Raccoon Valley Community House in Adel. As the weather cools down, fall is a perfect time to take a walk down the sidewalk, or on a paved walking path.

For peace of mind while you are walking, an emergency response button with a GPS system can make help available wherever you go. Call Health Navigation at 515-993-3750 for help accessing these resources.