Laura Vandegrift, a Move With Balance® instructor from Sedona, AZ wrote me this wonderful letter. I am including 1/2 of her letter today and 1/2 in the future.
“Hi Karen: Just a quick update on my classes and some interesting stories and pictures.
I have been teaching the Move with Balance program for 3 years. Last I started teaching at the Sedona Winds Assisted Living Center. These people are low functioning and some with memory problems. Recently a lady named Lyla and her husband arrived at the center. She comes to class almost every week and shared with the class that she can now cross her legs which she could not due prior to the classes because of her stroke. With the vision exercises, she can now move her eyes back and forth, which she could not do in the beginning. She practices a lot of the movements in her room and is slowly improving.
I also present the program at the Sedona Community Center and I have a 95 year old gentleman who comes almost every week. When he first started he was using a cane. Now he does not need it. He loves the class and recognizes how much it is helping him not only with balance, but focus and concentration.
Attached are some pictures from both facilities. Thanks for all your efforts in putting this program together. It helps so many people.”
Hello Karen! It was great talking with you last week. I’ve really enjoyed growing the MWB program here in Conway at out senior center! It started out with about 5 people and we now been averaging 20 or more at each class.
Our classes are fun-filled and vibrant! I enjoy the challenge to keep it interesting and retain participants. In the beginning, I composed a letter to several physicians, physical therapists and rehab facilities regarding the benefits of the MWB program. In that letter, I mentioned the visual exercises, balance and cognitive components of the class and how this has been proven to improve ones balance as well as their confidence which in turn gives them a chance to keep their independence longer. I have received numerous referrals from these physicians and physical therapists and have created a good report with all of them.
I have had several testimonials from the participants of this class. One lady said she used to have to use a magnifying glass to read her Bible every day but since doing the MWB class, she can read without it! Her opthomogist was amazed and told her to continue doing what she was doing. That was the best news! I get so excited when I hear these stories. I’ve seen people able to graduate from a walker to a cane, from a cane to walking without aid of any kind! This makes the class worthwhile and it’s amazing to see the participants improve!
Here are a few quotes from my participants.
“I really enjoy the class as well as improving my balance. Great class!”
“Love the class! Really helps my balance.”
“My son is a physical therapist and says he can see the improvement in the way I get around and move.”
These are just a few examples of the success the MWB program has been at our facility.
If anyone is considering introducing this class to their facility I have a small bit of advice for them. MAKE IT FUN!!! We laugh and talk during the class and everyone feels as if they belong to a “family”. It’s important for them to feel needed and to be a part of the class no matter what their background, physical or mental ability. This class is for any fitness level! Don’t get caught up in the logistics and expect everything to go perfectly each class time. MAKE IT FUN!!! That’s the bottom line!
Thank you for introducing and training me in this program. I totally believe in the MWB program! It’s changing lives for the better! Who wouldn’t want that?
Thank you again for creating this program!
Health & Wellness Coordinator
Conway Senior Center
On November 2, 2016 the State of Maryland Nutrition and Health Promotion Programs Manager brought together the statewide network of Maryland AAAs (Area Agencies on Aging) via web-meeting to discuss pertinent policies and also to share best practices. They wanted to know more about Move With Balance®.
The Baltimore County AAA has been implementing Move With Balance® after submitting an application to utilize Older Americans Act funds (IIID) as a highest tier evidence-based program.
The webinar presenters were Karen Peterson and William Fuller of Move With Balance®, Dr. Lorrin Pang and Kristin Mills of the Maui District Health Office of the Hawaii State Department of Health, and Donna Bilz of the Baltimore County AAA.
The webinar will be available to share with all of you in a few weeks, by January 2017.
The webinar covers:
Move With Balance®: the vision, implementation, innovative activities, music, training videos, training manuals, web support;
Maui District Health Office: the evidence-based evaluation published in the Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health, current evaluations, Cost/Benefit analysis;
Baltimore County AAA: overview of Move With Balance®.
Move With Balance® at the AARP Hawaii Caregiver Conference
Saturday, October 29, 2016, 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Marriot Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach 650 Aleka Loop, Kapaa, Kauai’i
Hundreds of people on Kauai are helping older loved ones to live independently in their own homes. Get connected to information and resources to help you care for family or plan for the future.
Prepare to Care and Manage Complex Change Patricia Bemis, RN
Modifying Your Home for Aging in Place Curt Kiriu, CAPS
Move With Balance® Rachelle Bachran, Public Health Educator
Legal Issues for Caregivers Michael Ratcliffe, Attorney at Law
Angie, Director of Senior Center Services, Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas has this to say about Move With Balance®. She is advising a senior who is about to join the program:
“I would recommend that you actually go in and participate in a class instead of just watch. It is an amazing program and as soon as you see it, trust me, you are going to want to participate. Why not join in right from the beginning! I cannot say enough about the Move with Balance Program”.
I have been a Move with Balance group leader since 2014. I work for the Town of Hempstead, NY in various senior centers and they supplied me with your book.I find it helpful to review the videos for nuances in how to demonstrate or cues to use when presenting the material. At times I have come back to the web site to check for any new material.
I was able to take a few pictures of my Move with Balance class. I only offer Move with Balance once a week at the Westbury Senior Center. They are very appreciative and often share how much better they feel after the Move with Balance classes.
We are excited to announce we will be presenting Move With Balance® to the AAA’s (Area Agencies on Aging) statewide in Maryland in November via a web-meetingWe received an email asking us “to share information regarding your innovative and effective program (Move With Balance®) with the other AAAs statewide, and to discuss pertinent policies and share best practices”. Maryland will “utilize Older Americans Act funds (IIID) for Move With Balance® as a highest tier evidence-based program”.
On January 12, 2016 I heard from the Arkansas Area Agency on Aging. Below are some excerpts:
“We have launched Move with Balance statewide.
Our seniors love this class. We have one center that had to run sessions classes per week because they had 75 people coming to class and that was too many to work with at one time. We currently have Move with Balance being offered in all 8 of our AAA regions and in 90 senior centers to date.” (Photo from the Arkansas training.)
Judd wrote to us as he ordered more books for the Move With Balance program in Arkansas:
“Also I just wanted to let you know how many compliments we are getting from your program. I personally lead a MWB group for over a year and have seen the progression with the Seniors I worked with. I just trained 8 more leaders yesterday. We have 6 classes going now throughout the White RiverRegion of Arkansas and are expecting to have 6 more going before the end of January. Thank you again!
On November 19 and 20, Karen Peterson, founder of Move With Balance®, and Bill Fuller, musician and songwriter, led a training for Professional and Family Caregivers and Group Leaders on Kauai’i. Karen and Bill recently completed very successful Move With Balance® with Music for Alzheimer’s/Dementia program on Maui. They have integrated original music into the entire Move With Balance® program.
On November 27, one week after the training on kauai, physical therapist, Noreen S. wrote to us about her experience of using Move With Balance® Clock Face with two of her clients.
I wanted to thank you for coming over to Kauai and sharing your excellent program with us. I have used the clock face with a number of clients I have been seeing and wanted to report back.
1. A 76 y/o woman, with cognitive deficits, not using her R arm from humeral fx (back in May 2015) happily used the clock and started patting the top and back of her head with no complaints of pain.
2. A 57 y/o with brainstem infarcts- I started his session with the clock to get his attention switch activated. His attention had been about 30 seconds for activity. Following the clock exercise his impulsivity decreased and was able to attend for a few minutes for motor activities. Big change.
Thanks so much for all your efforts in developing “Move with Balance”.