The details below are taken from the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging's site.
About the Program:
"Stepping On is a high-level, evidence-based program proven to reduce falls and build confidence in older people. A community-based, small-group workshop, Stepping On was developed in Australia and tested in a randomized trial where it demonstrated a 31% reduction in falls. Wisconsin developed an American version of Stepping On with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that has been tested in the United States and shown to achieve a 50% reduction in falls. Independent researchers have concluded that the success of Stepping On is attributable to Program Leaders' adherence to the program's Key Elements."
To read more about the research done on the program, please click here: https://wihealthyaging.org/_data/files/National_Stepping_On/Clemson_JAGS_2004_-_Falls.pdf
"Stepping On is designed specifically for people who are:
1) at risk of falling,
2) have a fear of falling, or
3) who have fallen one or more times.
Participants meet for two hours a week for seven weeks. Workshops are facilitated by trained Leaders and provide a safe and positive learning experience.
It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective. Classes are highly participative; mutual support and success build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health behaviors, reduce their risk of falls, and maintain active and fulfilling lives."
The Stepping On 7 week program includes (as noted on the SteppingOn.Com site):
|1||Introduction- Building trust, overview of program aims, sharing fall experiences, choosing what to cover and balance and strength exercises.
|2||Exercises and moving about safely - Review and practice exercises, explore the barriers and benefits of exercise, moving about safely – chairs and steps, learning not to panic after a fall.
|3||Home hazards - Identify hazards in and about the home and problem solving solutions.
|4||Community safety and footwear - Generate strategies to get around the local community and reduce the risk of falling. Learn about the features of a safe shoe and identify clothing hazards.
|5||Vision and falls and vitamin D - Recognize the influence of vision on the risk of falling. Review strategies to reduce risk of falling from dysfunction. Identify the importance of vitamin D, sunlight and calcium to protect from fall injury.
|6||Medication management - Identify medication risks and falls. Explore strategies to reduce risk of falls from medication side effects or misuse. Identify behaviour and sleep alternatives to taking sedatives. Review of exercises. Strategies for getting out and about in the local community safely. Practice safe mobility techniques learned during the program in a nearby outdoor location.
|7||Review and plan ahead. Graduation ceremony.
Currently, Stanford Healthcare offers the Stepping On program for free at various senior centers through the aid of a grant. At most, we are able to offer 5-6 sessions per year. With a maximum class size of 14 students, this does not allow for large-scale reach.
We are proposing a virtual class of 10-14 participants that would be offered via a Skype/Google Hangout type of service, and facilitated by a trained Stepping On leader and peer leader.
Initially, the virtual class size would include 5-7 participants (half the amount that is number recommended for Stepping On). The trial would be kept simple, with an assistant managing the tablet in the classroom and muting/unmuting as needed to allow the virtual participants to participate in discussions. We would be able to compare retention and satisfaction information from our virtual class to classes physically offered in our community, and make modifications before offering a second class.
Gradually increasing the number of participants in subsequent offerings would afford us the opportunity to determine the optimal online community size. Too few members might not allow enough interaction, and too many participants may affect sociability, cohesiveness, respect, and trust that are important when discussing sensitive fall prevention topics and developing behavioral change.
We have chosen to maintain the group component of this program rather than design and offer an online program as we have found that being amongst a group of peers who are facing similar challenges and sharing their own fall stories and tips are powerful motivators.