June Share the Plate – Tai Chi for Balance

Tai Chi for Balance is a program for Seniors offered through a partnership with Friendship Program, Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, and CHI Health.  The classes are twice a week at Senior Centers in Omaha.  Suggested voluntary donation is 50 cents per class.  This allows low income Seniors to participate.

Tai Chi for Balance teaches slow physical movements that strengthen muscles, increase lung capacity, and improve mental concentration and self confidence.  Movements are modified from traditional non-impact Tai Chi to be done while seated or standing.  This allows participation by Seniors of many physical ability levels.

While these classes have proven results of reducing the risk of falls in Senior by nearly 50%, funding is scare.  Funding for the 2016-17 year will run out just before the end of the fiscal year.  Classes will go into hiatus until funding starts again in July.  Suggested voluntary donation projected to increase to $1 starting in July.

Preventing falls will allow Seniors to remain in their own homes.  These classes received the OPPD Service to Community Safety Award at National Safety Council, Nebraska’s Safety and Health Summit in 2014.