The Move ‘n Mingle program is made of three primary components – the Exercise (or “Move” part), the Socialization (the ‘Mingle’ part), and the Education (the “Curriculum”).
The “Move”, or Exercise, component is different from a traditional exercise class because it focuses on Fall Prevention.
Fall Prevention Components of the Exercise:
• Improve Core Stability, Postural Alignment and Centre of Gravity Control
• Address Impaired Balance and Gait
• Improve Lower Extremity Strength
General Exercise Component of the Exercise:
• Increase Flexibility, Muscle Strength and Endurance
• Improve Range of Motion
Having the instructors relate how exercises make day to day activities easier helps seniors understand why they are doing them. (i.e. squats – help you get in and out of a car)
The “Mingle” component built in to the program provides time for socialization. It is during this time, once per month, that the fall prevention education is delivered.
The “Curriculum” is made up of eight learning modules which can be delivered in 20-30 minutes and which use plain language. The lessons are designed to increase the participants’ awareness of personal and environmental fall risks, while also encouraging fun and group interaction. Each lesson module utilizes a resource bag with samples of items such as safe footwear, hip protectors, canes, night lights and assistive devices.
Curriculum topics include:
• Introduction to Fall Basics
• Paying attention
• Strength and Balance
• Healthy Bones
• Footwear and Footcare
• Safety in Home and Community
• Tools to Stay Safe
The modules that make up this curriculum can be found in the “Resources” section.
Evaluation of the Move ‘n Mingle program in 2009 demonstrated very positive results. There were significant increases in Sit-Stand testing, indicating improvement in lower body strength. The Timed Up and Go testing suggested improvement in dynamic balance.
Subjectively, participants reported increased confidence in performing activities of daily living, and they also reported that their overall health improved or was maintained. There were reported increases in the areas of balance, strength, mobility and flexibility. Many reported learning about health, exercise and fall prevention in the short and medium term.