BOONE—To help older adults learn how to prevent falls, Appalachian State University’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services will begin offering free monthly CHAMP screenings at two locations in Watauga County beginning in February.
CHAMP stands for Community Health and Mobility Partnership. This partnership between Appalachian State University and the community is designed to improve strength, balance and mobility to help older individuals avoid falls and stay independent and active for life. The screenings will be conducted by a nurse and physical therapist who will identify participants at risk for falls and provide individualized fall prevention recommendations.
Area health care practitioners or home health workers are encouraged to refer patients to this service.
Monthly assessments will be held for the general public at both Appalachian Brian Estates and the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone. To set up an appointment for a screening, call Carol Cook at 828-262-7674.
Appalachian Brian Estates will host screenings from 1 – 4:30 p.m. on these dates: Feb. 11, March 3, April 7 and May 5. You do not have to be a resident to schedule an appointment. Appalachian Brian Estates is located at 163 Shadowline Dr. in Boone.
The Lois E. Harrill Senior Center will host screenings from 8 a.m. to noon on these dates: March 18, April 22 and May 20. The center is located in the Watauga County Human Services Building at 132 Poplar Grove Connector, Suite A.
Who should participate? Anyone who:
- Wants to reduce individual risk factors for falls
- Wants to improve strength, balance or mobility
- Needs instruction in specific home exercises to help maintain fitness and independence
- Has concerns about balance or walking
- Needs advice about assistive devices, such as walkers and canes
- Has had one or more falls
CHAMP was initiated in McDowell County in 2009 as a two-year collaborative research project with Dr. Vicki Mercer at University of North Carolina, with Baxter International Foundation serving as the founding sponsor. It is a modified form of the Otago Exercise Programme begun in New Zealand, which has been proven to result in a 35 percent reduction in falls and fall related injuries.
CHAMP is sponsored by a collaboration of Watauga County agencies, including the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center, Appalachian Brian Estates, Appalachian’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services in the Beaver College of Health Sciences, the Physician’s Assistant Program at Wake Forest School of Medicine, and the university’s Department of Nursing, Department of Sociology, and gerontology and athletic training programs.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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