APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Fall Prevention Programs in Northern California

People with Parkinson's are at high risk of falling due to problems with balance, rigidity, and slowness of movement -- the primary motor symptoms of PD. Serious falls can lead to numerous injuries, including head injuries, broken hips, and other bone fractures. Complications from these injuries may require hospitilization or long-term rehabilitation. In some cases, falls can lead to death.

Some keys to preventing falls include exercise, good medication management and a safe home environment. Consider enrolling in a fall prevention program that may address some or all of these topics.

Many fall prevention programs are at hospitals or senior centers. If you don't see a fall prevention program near you in the list below, please contact a local hospital or senior center. Also check out our list of PD-specific exercise classes in the Bay Area.

Another good resource: two-page fact sheet on Understanding Parkinson's Fall Prevention by the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, published 2009.

General info on preventing falls: official website of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence.

BAY AREA

City -
Class Name
Location Contact Description
Menlo Park
A Matter of Balance Class
Little House, 800 Middle Ave. Leticia Rolon [leticia.rolon dignityhealth.org], Sequoia Health & Wellness Center, 650-367-5998
  • 2 hours/week for 8 weeks
  • Designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. View falls as controllable. Make changes to reduce fall risk at home. Exercise to increase strength and balance.
  • Class held occasionally. Next class mid-June 2014.
  • Open to seniors 60 years+
  • Free
Mountain View
A Matter of Balance Class
Mountain View Senior Center, 266 Escuela Ave. Tyler Phillips, Mountain View Senior Center, 650-903-6442. Register at senior center front desk.
  • 2 hours/week for 8 weeks
  • Designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. View falls as controllable. Make changes to reduce fall risk at home. Exercise to increase strength and balance.
  • Class held occasionally. Next class fall 2014.
  • Open to seniors 60 years+
  • Free
Oakland
Fall Risk Screening
Alta Bates Summit Physical, Sports and Hand Therapy Clinic, 5700 Telegraph Ave. Physical, Sports and Hand Therapy Clinic, Reservations 510-204-1788 (option 2).

Information, 510-204-1756

  • 1-hour screening offered Thursdays only, 1:45pm or 2:15pm
  • Assess risk of falling, learn exercises, receive recommendations for further actions, and identify other resources.
  • Free
Oakland
Balance Class
Alta Bates Summit Physical, Sports and Hand Therapy Clinic, 5700 Telegraph Ave. Physical, Sports and Hand Therapy Clinic, Information 510-204-1756
  • Wednesdays 1:30-2:30pm
  • Drop in -- no need to RSVP
  • Learn or practice exercises to improve or maintain balance
  • $80 for 10 sessions, or $10/class
Oakland
Better Balance & Pilates Class
Kaiser, 3900 Broadway, Bldg A, Room 212 Pre-register with Kaiser, 510-752-7868. Pre-registration required.

Information: Ernie Adams [adams bodyinaction.com], GCFP, instructor, 510-619-9223.

  • Wednesdays 11:15am-12:15pm
  • 1 hour/week for 8 weeks, limited to 4-10 participants. One hour private session to be scheduled.
  • Develop skills to improve balance, prevent falls, and learn to fall in "softer" way.
  • $55 Kaiser members or $80 non-members
Palo Alto
A Matter of Balance Class
Avenidas, 450 Bryant Ave. Judith Taksa Webb [jwebb avenidas.org], Avenidas, 650-289-5436. Contact for approval prior to registering.
  • 2 hours/week for 8 weeks
  • Helps reduce fear of falling. Recognize positive and negative beliefs about falls.
  • Includes exercises, discussion, and guest speakers
  • Class held several times each year
  • $25 Avenidas members, $35 non-members
Redwood City
Fall Prevention Class
Sequoia Hospital Health & Wellness Center, 749 Brewster Ave. Leticia Rolon [leticia.rolon dignityhealth.org], Sequoia Health & Wellness Center, 650-367-5998. Register by phone or online.
  • 2 hours/week for 3 weeks
  • Discuss key risk factors for falls and how to reduce risks. Learn simple exercises designed to help increase balance, strength, and coordination for fall prevention.
  • Class held several times each year. Next class starts early fall 2014.
  • Free
San Francisco
"Always Active" Fall Prevention Class
Locations throughout San Francisco Dr. Christian Thompson [cjthompson usfca.edu], University of San Francisco, Dept. of Kinesiology, 415-422-5270

  • 1 hour, twice weekly for 12 weeks
  • Exercise to improve balance and strength, and to lower risk of falls
  • Must be at least 65 years old and must be able to walk at least 30 feet without a wheeled walker
  • Classes begin in January, May, and September
San Francisco
Maintain Your Balance Lecture
California Pacific Medical Center, Davies Campus, Level B Auditorium Linda Gates [cpmcchrc sutterhealth.org], CPMC Community Health Resource Center 415-923-3155

  • 2-hour interactive workshop led by physical therapist
  • Suggested $10 donation
  • Offered annually (usually September)
San Jose
A Matter of Balance Class

Eastside Neighborhood Center, 2150 Alum Rock Ave. Lupe Cinco [mcinco catholiccharitiesscc.org], 408-251-0215
  • 16 classes
  • Emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Learn to change environment to reduce fall risk. Exercise to increase strength and balance.
  • Next class in fall 2014
San Jose
Matter of Balance Program
Portuguese Center, 1115 E. Santa Clara St.

Mary Sousa, 408-293-0877
  • Wednesdays, 1-3pm
  • How to maintain balance, prevent falls, and improve health and security
  • Pre-registration required
San Jose
Matter of Balance Class
Yu-Ai Kai Japanese American Community Senior Service, 588 N. Fourth St. Julie [staff yuaikai.org], 408-294-2505 ext. 12
  • 2 hours/week for 4 weeks
  • Emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Learn to change environment to reduce fall risk. Exercise to increase strength and balance.
  • $20. Scholarships available.
  • Next class is fall 2014
San Mateo
FallProof Program

Mills Health Center, 100 S. San Mateo Dr. Mills-Peninsula Rehab Services, 650-696-4310
  • Twice weekly, for 6 weeks
  • Assessment of current balance and risk of falling. Learn to strengthen center of gravity, use senses to help balance, and increase strength and flexibility.
  • Limited to 6
  • Class offered occasionally
  • $180
Stanford area - San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
Farewell to Falls
In your home
Ellen Corman [ecorman stanfordmed.org], Stanford University Hospital & Clinics Farewell to Falls, 650-724-9369
  • 2 home visits by an OT for assessment, medication review, home safety survey, fall reduction suggestions and exercise demonstration
  • Age 65+ years
  • Requires willingness to follow 30-minute exercise regimen
  • Must live in independent living situation
  • Free
Sunnyvale
A Matter of Balance Class
Sunnyvale Senior Center, 550 East Remington Dr. Gerard Manuel [gmanuel ci.sunnyvale.ca.us], 408-730-7365
  • Twice weekly for 4 weeks
  • Emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Learn to change environment to reduce fall risk. Exercise to increase strength and balance.
  • Class offered occasionally. Next class in fall 2014.
  • Free
Sunnyvale
Gait & Balance Classes

The Parkinson's Institute, 675 Almanor Ave. Gloria [ggoldstein thepi.org], The Parkinson's Institute, 408-734-2800
  • 90-min exercise with personal trainer Jennifer Larson
  • Beginner to Intermediate class: for those who need assistance from a caregiver to stand or walk
  • Intensive class: for those not requiring assistance
  • Space is limited. Priority given to patients at the clinic.
  • $10/class or 10-class pass for $75. Cash or check accepted.

 

OUTSIDE BAY AREA

City -
Class Name
Location Contact Description
Davis
Gaining Balance Workshops
Davis Senior Center, 646 A St. Lisa DeAmicis [ldeamicis cityofdavis.org], Davis Senior Center, 530-757-5696
  • One hour/week for 4 weeks
  • Class offered quarterly
  • $40
Davis
Balance Assessment
Davis Senior Center, 646 A St. Reservations and Information [seniorservices cityofdavis.org], 530-757-5696

  • Offered every September and October
Modesto
A Matter of Balance
Healthy Aging Association, 121 Downey Ave., Suite 102 Healthy Aging Association [healthy-aging sbcglobal.net], 209-523-2900
  • Two hours/week for 8 weeks
  • Emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Learn to change environment to reduce fall risk. Exercise to increase strength and balance.
  • Class offered occasionally

 

This list was last updated in April 2014 by Beth Miller. It was first created in September 2012 by Denise Dagan and Robin Riddle with Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach.

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