Jan 31, 2013
St. Louis, MO (January 31, 2013) – The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is hosting Free From Falls, an 8-week fall prevention program designed for people living with MS who want to learn about fall risks, tips and strategies to reduce the risk of falling, and exercises to enhance balance. Loss of balance is one of the most common symptoms of MS. This program is specifically for people who are walking with a straight cane or no device, but may be at risk of falling.
Starting Feb. 19, 2013, participants will spend one night a week, for eight weeks, engaging in and developing a home fitness plan. They do so in a supportive group atmosphere with expert instructors in the field of rehabilitation, health, and wellness to help each participant increase his or her confidence in minimizing fall risks and manage falls if they do occur.
Steve Voss, diagnosed in 2008, completed the comprehensive course in 2012. He registered for Free From Falls to help continue his rehabilitation from a back operation that had slowed his walking pace. After the 8-week course, he learned more than he originally bargained for. “The main lesson I took away from the program was the awareness the instructors taught me,” said Steve. “There used to be situations where I would have a hard time, that now I handle better. Positioning, stairs, crowds, pavement, weather, etc. all play a part in the simple task of walking. It’s situation awareness!”
Each class is divided up into two parts – a classroom session with learning and discussion and time spent in the studio learning exercises and physical techniques. “In the classroom portion it was interesting to hear the input from others living with MS. I felt I wasn’t the only one out there with the same problems,” said Steve.
Participants will identify additional community resources to implement a fall prevention action plan to help further their health and wellness education after the course has ended. They will also leave with established relationships between themselves, physical therapists, and new friends. “I’m thankful to the staff for their insight and solutions to the problems related to balance and walking while dealing with MS. I can feel the positive effects of the exercises when I do them,” said Steve.
The cost is $50 per attendee, but scholarships are available for those who are eligible. Those who are interested may contact Program Coordinator Fiza Mahmood at Fiza.Mahmood@NMSS.org or (800) 344-4867 to determine if the program is the right fit for their needs. An application and other registration materials will be provided upon request. If a participant attends all eight sessions, $25 of the registration fee will be reimbursed.
For more information about MS or other programs and services offered by the National MS Society, Gateway Area Chapter, please visit http://gatewayMSsociety.org or call (800) 344-4867.
WHAT: Free From Falls
WHEN: Tuesdays – Feb. 19th – April 9th from 6-8 pm
WHERE: Mercy Rehab Services
1176 Town and Country Commons
Town and Country, MO 63017
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. The Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move forward with their lives. In 2011 alone, through its national office and 50-state network of chapters, the Society devoted $164 million to programs and services that assisted more than one million people. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $40 million to support more than 325 new and ongoing research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at nationalMSsociety.org.
Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800-FIGHT-MS (344-4867). You may also contact your local Gateway Area Chapter at www.gatewayMSsociety.org or 314-781-9020.