A Few Things To Consider When Setting Up A Tai Chi Falls Prevention Class

Tai Chi has been seen to help reduce the risk of falls in the elderly is an effective practice for addressing the problems of falls among the elderly by about 40 to 50 percent. But despite the fact that this ancient Chinese practice itself works well, it may not be appropriate for everyone. Several contextual factors need to be taken into consideration which may enhance the practice’s acceptance to participants. These factors may include the quality of social interactions and the amount of social time built into the class schedule. Moreover, it is clearly essential to create a Tai Chi lesson plan rooted on exercises designed to improve mobility and balance as well as doable within the capacities of the participants.

It seems that Tai Chi works really well when people are self-disciplined and self-motivated. Since it is a skill, the student needs to completely absorb himself into the process. To assist him and the class, he may need to have an occasional observer in the class to help the group maintain their focus and appropriate behavior during the learning process.

Topics to be considered in creating a Falls Prevention program

Some are very motivated. Not everyone is self- motivated

The age group of some of the members of a Tai Chi may range from 50 plus to even 90 plus years old. The class may also widely differ in terms of physical capability as well as intellectual and emotional capability. One needs to consider how this affects the participants’ compatibility to the plan. Some of the participants may be of borderline capacity that may ultimately question the purpose of the program, which is rehabilitation and prevention. In both the pre-program assessment/selection phase and during the beginning of classes, they will need to be considered.

Education

1. Urging students to research for themselves
2. Carefulness in movement.
3. Observing and discovering how to look after oneself.

The approach

1. Learning to take care of oneself
2. Taking personal responsibility

Dealing with the problems of each participants

1. Intellectual difficulties
2. Attitude problems
3. Temperament
4. Psychological issues
5. Disability/injury
6. Stiffness

These can be tackled by acknowledging them and helping the participants to learn how to cope with them within the framework of Tai Chi or through other approaches like:

1. Supplements/nutrition
2. Counseling
3. Meditation
4. Pilates
5. Yoga

Transportation

Hearing problems

A class having senior members may have problems hearing the instructor. To address this, a small sound damped room can help students hear much more clearly without the need for the instructor to shout which defeats the idea a relaxed atmosphere.

Funding

May be provided by the participants themselves as well as care stakeholders

Dropouts

There will be usually some students dropping out in the class but if there is a high dropout rate, some kind of safety net should be considered to help students who feel they’re not suited to the program but would like to explore other approaches.

Continuity

Answering the demand for Tai Chi falls prevention in the day time. Once the initial program has ended, on-going classes may still be available.

Assessment

A qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the student and of the program itself

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