SCMH Offers Two Community Workshops for Older Adults

Whitney Newell Stepping OnSMITH CENTER, Kan. – Smith County Memorial Hospital is offering two community workshops this spring. It will be hosting Stepping On, a seven week workshop to help prevent falls, beginning March 28. The occupational therapy department will host CarFit, a program to help senior adults check how well their car “fits” them on April 16.

The two programs are both designed for older members of the community to help increase confidence and regain independence.

“We’ve seen huge success from the two prior Stepping On workshops,” said Laura Kingsbury, emergency department director. “The majority of cases that come to the ER are falls and we want to help lessen those visits.”

The Stepping On workshop is broken into seven sessions, once a week for two hours each. Participants will have their final session on May 16. Stepping On is limited to 12 participants and Kingsbury encourages early registration.

“We hope by offering the workshop in early spring, we help prepare our community for the many spring and summer activities they enjoy,” Kingsbury said.

Stepping On sessions will be held at the Nazarene Church at 117 E. New York St., in Smith Center.

CarFit will be hosted at the hospital in the parking lot near the Rehab Services entrance. The national program is developed by AARP, AAA and the American Occupational Therapy Association and is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together.

“Senior drivers can be the safest drivers on the road,” said Alisa Pahls, director of occupational therapy at SCMH. “They are more likely to wear their seatbelts and less likely to speed. However, as our bodies get older and change, we need to adjust how we handle daily activities like driving.”

The CarFit session will help participants feel more comfortable in their vehicles. At the 30 minute sessions SCMH health professionals will work with each participant one-on-one to ensure they “fit” their vehicle properly for comfort and safety.

“Our goal is to reduce stress and increase confidence when driving by offering comfort and safety tips to our community members.” Pahls said.

The “check-up” will include checking the correct position of the driver’s seat, driver’s ability to easily reach pedals and proper adjustment of mirrors.

To register for either Stepping On or CarFit, contact Deb Silsby at (785) 686-3120 or visit the hospital’s rehab services department.