Local hospitals offer 'balance' classes, emphasis on seniors

The SPORT clinic in Mammoth and Bishop Physical Therapy will be hosting a six-week strength and balance program next month for seniors having difficulty with their balance.

The classes also are open for anyone, including the younger set, but the main emphasis will be on helping seniors.
Classes will meet two days a week beginning Monday, Jan. 6, at 12:45 p.m. in Mammoth and at noon in Bishop.
The classes are to be led by physical therapists, Sara Morra, MPT, CSCS and Jen Myers, DPT. 
Morra, according to a news release issued by the hospitals, has a background in balance and dizziness disorders and is certified for balance and vestibular rehabilitation.  
Myers has a special interest in wellness and prevention, and has broad experience in assessing strength and mobility deficits and improving function through exercise and movement. 
Participants of this class will also learn that muscular strength is necessary to be able to correct for balance errors. Strength, in turn, improves confidence and allows for more freedom of movement without the fear of falling.
In the classes, physical therapists will track each individual’s progress with tests specifically chosen to effectively evaluate balance and function.
According to National Institute of Health, falling is the second-leading cause of accidental death for seniors in the United States, and injuries sustained from a fall are among the top reasons for emergency room visits.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported that seniors who exercise and practice balance activities can avert the devastating effects of a fall. 
Every year, one in three seniors over the age of 65 experience at least one fall and one in two seniors over the age of 80 experience a fall, according to the news release.
For more information please contact 760-934-7302 for the Mammoth location or 760-872-2942 for the 
Bishop location or visit www.mammothhospital.com.