By Kim Nicholls, Recreation Therapist

Staying On Your Feet (SOYF) is a falls prevention balance and education program that is offered within the Saskatoon Health Region. 

Staying active and living a longer, healthier life is becoming more and more of a priority for today’s seniors.  The SOYF program provides falls prevention education and awareness as well as safe physical activity opportunities with a focus on strength and balance for older adults living in the community.  Presentations from health professionals address topics that relate to falls risk.

We know that being physically active can reduce fall risk by as much as 40 per cent.  Through the SOYF program, participants engage in progressive balance exercises that allow them the chance to increase their strength and challenge their balance.

A man rocks back and forth on his toes.

Challenging your balance can be as simple as rocking back and forth on your toes.

With improved balance and strength, we see people living independently in their own homes for longer and reducing the need to access health care services.

The SOYF program is supported by Physical Therapists and Recreation Therapists and is run in conjunction with the Forever…in motion (FIM) program.  FIM leaders are given training and support to incorporate balance exercises and fall prevention into their groups, providing sustainability for the knowledge and skills learned in the SOYF program.

SOYF programs are appropriate for seniors’ housing complexes, FIM sites, seniors’ centers and community-based programs and groups.  Program length varies from four to six weeks to eight to 12 weeks, and is tailor-made for each group of participants.

For more information about the SOYF programs and how to host them, please contact Staying On Your Feet Community Services at 306-655-3418.