The Importance of Staying Vertical

Ivy Marketing Group

It's a scary but not inevitable part of aging. Falls are all too common among older adults and often are devastating physically, emotionally and economically. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a senior is treated in the ER for a fall every 11 seconds, with falls resulting in more than 800,000 hospitalizations and 27,000 deaths nationally each year.

"We are passionate about the safety, health, and independence of seniors; not only those living at Sedgebrook but in the community at large. As leading professionals in the field of senior living, we feel that it is incumbent upon us to share our expertise with our residents and neighbors," said Dan Harrington, executive director at Sedgebrook senior living community in Lincolnshire.

On January 22nd, Dr. Elliott Kroger, medical director for Sedgebrook will lead Sedgebrook's second annual Fall Prevention Symposium which is open to the public. The program is designed to help people understand the causes of falls, and practice ways to decrease the likelihood of such mishaps. "We've decided to take an educational approach to fall prevention. At Sedgebrook, we are committed to helping our residents enjoy their retirement and live an active and engaged life. Fall prevention is key to helping make that happen," Kroger said.

The Fall Prevention Symposium will include information about how muscle weakness, sensory issues, diseases and conditions, medications and home hazards can be triggers for falls, the role of physical therapy in the prevention and recovery from falls, and future developments and technology in decreasing the incidence of falls. Presenting with Kroger will be guest speakers Dr. Rachel Kerman of NorthShore University Health System and Pritzker School of Medicine, and Bill Siomos of HealthPRO Heritage Therapy Management and Consulting Services.

While Kroger is effectively leading the charge educationally, Ruth Reyna, wellness center manager is heading Sedgebrook's fall prevention initiatives through fitness. "With four or more fitness classes daily, each and every one has a balance component at its core. Additionally, we offer three actual balance classes for all levels of care," she said. "We also do a senior fitness evaluation for every resident here, and that focuses largely on balance. When we've assessed the results, we set up a personal program for everyone, regardless of their activity or fitness level." The Wellness Center at Sedgebrook is operated by the National Institution of Fitness and Sports (NIFS).

Reyna said that the retirement community's aquatic center is an enormous asset in general, but specifically, is a great way to support balance initiatives. "We can work harder and be more challenged in the pool than on land," she said. "There's no fear of falling. The water is a safe environment."

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Reyna said her department works closely with physical therapy at Sedgebrook. "If we see anyone is struggling beyond what we're able to do, we refer them to PT, and vice versa. For instance, if someone is in PT recovering from a fall, they'll refer that resident here to continue concentrating on improving balance," she said.

In March, Reyna's department will have its annual program called March Into Better Balance. "It's focused on fall prevention and balance. We'll have lectures and clinics, and more. Balance and fall prevention are something we focus on all year, every year."

For additional information or to RSVP for the Fall Prevention Symposium on January 22, call Cathy Swan at (847) 876-2380.


Sedgebrook is a Life Plan Community offering a diverse lifestyle, maintenance-free living, and outstanding amenities. Five-star rated Radford Green Health Care and Rehabilitation is located on the 72-acre Sedgebrook campus in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Sedgebrook is a Senior Care Development, LLC affiliated community and managed by Life Care Services LLC®. For additional information visit or call 847-901-3319.

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