Strategies & Ideas
Fall prevention for exercise instructors
Objectives / Description
Trainers who offer exercise classes for elderly people are trained in the area of fall prevention. The aim is to make trainers aware of the issue's importance and to teach them suitable exercises. Thus, prevention of falls may be a completely normal part of older people's exercise routines.
A completed training, which enables trainers to call themselves fall prevention trainer, forms the basis to provide exercise classes that can be attended by less sprightly seniors, as well. By this, the offer of exercise classes for the older target group may rise.
The training sessions were based on the curriculum of the paper of recommendations distributed by the German Federal initiative for fall prevention, consisting of 25 teaching modules.
Addressed were the following contents:
- Foundation of fall prevention: reasons, risk factors and consequences of falls
- Psychological and physical changes in old age
- Sports training basics
- Strength and balance training for fall prevention in an outpatient area
- Multitasking training
- Methodology and didactics for exercise class leading
- Communication/Commitment to physical activity
- Daily living skills training
- Handling fear of falling
- Motor-skills tests for determining the risk of falling
A completed trainer education programme (with a minimum of 120 teaching sessions) or a similar qualification was the requirement for participation.
- During a first conversation with the working-group of Reutlingen's sports clubs (ARS), the clubs' and trainers' needs and interests were determined.
- Invitation for a free training session to all trainers who were registered with the web-page for exercise classes, official sports clubs of the city of Reutlingen, clubs of the ARS and trainers of the German Red Cross. Furthermore, exercise class instructors from groups of church communities and informal exercise classes were addressed by the municipality's department for older people.
Stakeholders and their tasks
- Project team: preparation and implementation of training sessions
- Local sports clubs' working-group, German Red Cross, Reutlingen's department for older people: forwarding the invitations, advertising training sessions
Expenses / Time
- Organisation (invitation, registration, premises)
- Preparation of training contents
- Implementation: 25 teaching sessions with 2 project employees each (physiotherapist and sports scientist, both lecturers in the field of fall prevention exercises)
- Lease for meeting rooms and gymnasium: approx. 450 €
- Copy expenses for participant documentation
- Break refreshments for participants
In total, 18 exercise instructors participated in the training sessions.
Experiences / Advice
- Feedback from the participating trainers was highly positive. The training content proved itself easy adaptable to groups' existing exercise plans.
- A good basis for networking was created by the meeting of trainers from various institutions.
- The participating trainers were more willing to participate in other events of the project (charity run, day of action ...), as well.
- A cooperation/early consultation of the Sport Confederation of Baden-Württemberg proved to be reasonable, since it was desirable to grant an extension of a trainer's/instructor's license for the training's participants.